CES 2021 is happening right now, and the first day of the annual tech event—now held digitally in light of COVID-19—has brought up some really interesting new products. Not necessarily useful products, or even devices that you’ll be able to buy on the street right now, but prototypes that give you a peek into the future.
So, what’s in store for us in 2021? Quite a bit, actually. LG Display showed off their new Transparent OLED displays, with applications that are… rather unique. In fact, they’re so unique that I can’t really think of a world where these would become the norm—but you never know, especially in the technology sector.
Let’s go through two really cool devices that LG Display showcased at CES 2021.
The LG Smart Bed
No, this isn’t a bed that uses technology to help you sleep, despite its name. The LG SMart Bed comes with a built-in 55″ Transparent OLED display that sits in the frame at the foot of the bed, and at a touch of a button, the display rises from its previously-hidden location to provide you with some morning/evening entertainment, as well as some insights on your night of sleep.
It’s best to see it for yourself, courtesy of Engadget:
So yes, it’s an OLED display, but its transparent nature means that you can see through it when it’s off—and even while it’s on and you’re watching something on YouTube, or Netflix. LG says that it the TV does not use a backlight, but manages to maintain “clear image quality”. There’s even an integrated Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO), so you won’t need to add speakers onto this setup.
I suppose the big question is this: where/how will this be used? LG says that there is a “growing demand” for this—which is why the Korean company has worked hard to make these displays more transparent:
“The company’s Transparent OLED realises 40% transparency, providing clear image quality while being crystal clear like glass compared to the existing transparent LCD with only 10% transparency. With its superior transparency, Transparent OLED can be used in various fields such as smart homes, smart buildings, and mobility, including autonomous vehicles, aircraft, and subways. LG Display, the only transparent OLED manufacturer in the world, is seeing growing demand for Transparent OLED from these industries.”
Perhaps one day we’ll see these in restaurants, or trains, then.
The bendable gaming TV
LG Display also showcased the 48″ Bendable Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO) gaming TV, which is basically a display that can bend from a flat display to a curved one—at just a push of a button.
The idea is to have a screen that can be transformed from a flat screen—which you’d use when watching TV, for example—to a curved display for gaming. This curved mode is supposed to offer an “extreme immersive viewing experience”, while the bendable TV also uses LG’s CSO technology so you won’t need to use external speakers.
According to The Verge, the TV has a bend radius of up to 1,000mm, while you also get a variable refresh rate that goes between 40Hz to 120Hz. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’re seeing flexible displays from LG—the company announced a rollable TV previously, so this looks to build on that.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any word if either product will actually hit the commercial market. CES 2021 is an event where the latest technologies are showcased by players in the tech industry, but many of these prototypes never actually turn into “real” products that you can buy off the shelves.
Still, the rollable TV did go on sale in South Korea last year, although it had a mouthwatering price to match—something like RM350,000.