In an intriguing announcement by LG Display Thursday, the giant display panel technology company said it has been selected by South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) to lead a national project to develop stretchable displays.

The company said it will oversee the large-scale R&D project, which is viewed as “a major part of MOTIE’s push since 2019 to propel South Korea’s next-generation display industry by fostering the development of core technologies.”

The goal is to “develop stretchable display products with a 20% elongation rate by 2024,” according to the announcement.

“LG Display will develop stretchable displays, a new form factor which could vastly widen the scope of applications that displays can be applied to. In the era of IoT, 5G, and self-driving cars, stretchable displays will play a huge role and we are very pleased and honored to be an important part of the development of these technologies and products,” reads a statement from Dr. Soo-Young Yoon, LGD Laboratory senior VP. “Through this R&D project, LG Display looks to contribute to the evolution of future display technologies while solidifying its leadership position in the industry with a portfolio of various next-generation display technologies.”

LGD said it believes stretchable displays are an ideal next-generation technology because they can shift in “free form,” similar to the way a rubber band stretches, while not impacting picture quality with artifacts like screen distortion. By comparison, existing commercial flexible display technologies such as bendable, foldable, and rollable panels excel only in particular areas or directions, the company explained.

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LGD said “stretchable displays are considered the final phase of the evolution of flexible displays.”

Great stretchable flexibility in displays is said to offer “vast potential in terms of applications,” including: multi-foldable smart devices, wearable devices with excellent fit and no movement restrictions, and auto and aviation displays that overcome design constraints caused by curved surfaces.

“It is expected that the scope of application and market potential will be almost endless,” LGD said.

In it’s government assigned role, LG Display said it will lead a group of 21 entities, including related companies, research institutes, and universities, in addition to developing core technologies, obtaining patents, and creating and preoccupying new high value-added markets through the development of stretchable displays.

All participants are expected to work together to develop relevant materials, components, and equipment to build a robust environment for next generation displays, the announcement said.

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By Greg Tarr

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