Flexible screens are now used in smartphones and even laptops, but LG thinks they should be the centrepiece of your home and it’s hauling two wacky concepts to the CES 2022 show floor to convince you.
The first concept, what the Korean tech giant calls “Media Chair,” consists of a rotating curved 55-inch OLED TV behind a simple recliner, both of which are housed in large curved fixtures. Speakers are built into the chair and the TV vibrates to make its own sound, so you should get something close to a 3D effect.
On the slim reclining chair’s armrest is a button that rotates the screen from vertical to horizontal orientations so you can switch between watching movies and, say, browsing the web. And since the TV has a 1500R curve (the same curvature of a circle with a 1.5 meters radius), you can sit close to the screen and see everything within your line of sight, no neck twisting necessary.
For now, the Media Chair is a concept, but LG Display told The Verge it will be working with an unspecified Korean massage chair maker to bring the product to market. We don’t know how much this will cost, but it certainly won’t fit anywhere close to within my budget. Perfect for the introverted, this sort of thing will be for the wealthy who can buy curved TV viewing stations for each of their guests so nobody has to fight over what to watch.
Flexible screens, in general, will remain a luxury until they see the same adoption as OLED panels, which dropped from tens of thousands of dollars to around $US1,000 ($1,381) at the cheapest in just a few years.
We’re hopeful that happens soon because LG’s other concept could do the impossible: get me excited about Cardio Day. Called “Virtual Ride,” this bonkers setup uses three vertical 55-inch curved OLED displays placed in front of a strangely elegant stationary bicycle (This one, I believe). Drawing your attention away from the wonky-looking bike is the massive r-shaped screen that starts near the floor, rises up several feet, then curves above your head.
You could spin while watching some relaxing scenery, or in my case, turn on whatever TV show or movie will best distract from the pain and suffering (I’m kidding, sort of).
Enabling the panel to tower above your head is a 500R curve, or a radius of 500mm (remember, the TV had a more gradual 1500R curve), which LG claims to be the tightest curve among existing large displays.
These two concepts demonstrate how LG’s flexible OLED panels can be used outside of traditional applications like your phone, laptop, or TV. We won’t be at CES 2022 this year to gawk at these screens, but I hope LG pushes to make them mainstream. Hell, enough time on that bike, and I might adopt these screens’ flexibility.