LG's Prototype Displays Are The Future Of Staring At TV Screens And Beyond

Every year at CES, LG gives us a look at its craziest ideas for the future of display technology. At a press conference earlier yesterday, the company showed off its refreshed OLED televisions, regarded by many as the best on the market. In a private briefing at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Gizmodo was shown LG's bold concepts for the future of displays, which are (unbelievably) getting thinner and brighter. They are among the most lifelike displays I've ever seen.

The first of the big reveals in the briefing was a new 77-inch OLED Wall Paper display that is ridiculously thin. This is the same exact technology used in the W7 TV we covered earlier. The prototype was suspended on the wall and looked totally insane, as if just floating in the air all by itself.

Next up we were shown a "Crystal Sound OLED" that was by far the most innovative new piece of technology at the LG showcase. These new Crystal Sound TVs embed a sound system directly into the display panel, using the bezel of the television as a speaker casing. That means the screen vibrates imperceptibly to play sound.

To show off this technology, LG placed hundreds of tiny, colourful little beads on one of the display panels and turned the volume way up. The sound was pretty damn loud (certainly loud enough for most living rooms) and the beads vibrated around, showing that the TV screen was actually being used as a speaker. It's also important to note that the loud volume did not distort the image on the screen in any way.

You'd think the sound quality would be terrible, but it was amazingly clear. I'd buy a a Crystal Sound OLED in a heartbeat -- if I could afford the (presumably) insane price tag.

This is what an LG Crystal Sound OLED looks like when you put hundreds of tiny plastic beads on it and crank up the volume.

Last in the OLED concepts was a prototype I can't imagine using in my own home, but might come in handy for specific business applications, like perhaps a car window.

The OLED display is about 40 per cent translucent, which means you could stick your hand behind the glass and see your jiggling fingers. Images on the display still show up, but you see your hand in the background.

In the photo of the prototype below, you see a bouquet of flowers, which are actually about 30cm behind the TV. The outline of a car and the words "facial recognition auto door unlock" are being shown by the display. All of it was super clear and even though it was hard for me to imagine where this could be used, it was definitely an exciting look into the future of what LG is developing.

Obviously, these are just concepts at the moment, and there's no guarantee we'll ever see them in the wild. We can, however, hope that at least some of this mind-blowing technology trickles down to ordinary people like you and me.

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    If the screen as speaker concept works that's pretty clever and useful. Just wonder what it does to the lifespan of the display? Surely constant vibration, especially if you turn it up loud would be damaging.

    I like the see thru display idea, have done since it was first demoed a couple years ago (gosh, it might be close to five years ago now). Not so much for home use but it could be very handy in a business setting, offices, restaurants, museums, information booths and so on. I do wonder whether we'll ever see it in the wild though. It's been demoed multiple times but nothing on the market :(

      It could be one of those things where they have to wait for some of the technology to become cheaper. It can be done but no one will pay the cost of a house for a TV.

        You could be right. Even so I'd have expected to see it somewhere mostly as a marketing ploy - like how the big Surface type device was used in the footy shows a couple years back.

    I still don't see where one would need to see behind a screen other than for hud's. Yeah it looks cool because it's different but wouldn't you be getting a much worse picture?

      Depends on the intended use. Think of a museum being able to put a glass window in front of a display and being able to display videos or other information on it. Kinda like augmented reality without needing goggles.

      Depending on the technology too it might be a space saver. Think of a room with a big window that could be converted into a massive display when needed. Might be handy in an office setting. Or possibly customer service terminals where you can see through the screen to the customer (and vice versa).

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