LG’s millimetre-thin OLED “Wallpaper” TV hangs using nothing but magnets
TVs didn’t so much as creep into homes in the 1950s but dominate them, their CRT cabinets taking over a room to display a tiny picture after the set warmed up for a few minutes. Since then, TVs have been getting thinner and LG’s latest model outdoes all others coming in at just 0.97mm thick. That’s four times thinner than a USB port, or close to the thickness of a credit card.
Dubbed the “Wallpaper” display, the new 55in display, shown off on Tuesday in Seoul, is so thin and light that LG opted to demonstrate this by mounting it to a wall using nothing more than magnetic pads. By comparison, LG’s current flagship 55in OLED TV is more than four times thicker at 4.3mm.
However, don’t expect to be able to buy the “Wallpaper” display any time soon. At present, it’s mostly a demonstration to show how thin you can potentially make TV displays when using OLED panels, with much of the circuitry and connectivity hidden in a separate box.
Although you could just as easily recreate a screen the same size and definition – possibly at a fraction of the cost – with a high-end projector or a HoloLens, an advantage of LG’s future display is how unobtrusive it is. Instead of having to mount a projector from your ceiling, you could use magnetic tape to mount a huge paper-thin screen on your wall. Hiding a supplemental box of hardware would be easier than disguising a projector on the other side of the room.
Although LG’s use of OLED technology is crucial to making a TV of this depth, it’s also the main challenge in bringing something like this to market. OLED panels at this size are tricky to manufacture, and a comparative few make it to market compared to traditional LCDs. Naturally this means prices for larger OLED panels are high, something that has led both Samsung and Sony to abandon the technology for its TVs.
If we’re ever going to see the Wallpaper display become a reality, LG will have to work out how to manufacture OLED screens in bigger volumes without the high cost.