Could rollable phones (and TVs) be the next flip phone?

There was a time when flip phones ruled the world… just ask Motorola. Those are long gone, but LG is working on the next generation of screen technology that could make rollable phones the next most highly coveted genre of smart phone.

Flexible (Rollable) OLED_01

If you don’t think that’s awesome, you must be amish.

The new technology shown above is actually an 18-inch flexible OLED display made by LG that was just announced and has the potential to revolutionize what we consider today as “pocketable” or “wearable” tech. This large screen can be rolled up into a toilet paper style cylinder that’s only 3cm in radius, has a resolution of 1200×810, and packs almost 1 million pixels.

LG has positionedĀ this tech in terms of televisions, claiming that the company could even make a 50-inch TV of this kind in the future. I can picture it now:

  • Boy: Hey Mom, wheres the TV?
  • Mom: Not sure, dad was using it last.
  • Dad: Check between the couch cushions!

This technology could arriveĀ sooner than you think, with LG aiming for release of a 60-inch rollable TV by 2017.

We are confident that by 2017, we will successfully develop an Ultra HD flexible and transparent OLED panel of more than 60 inches, which will have transmittance of more than 40 percent and a curvature radius of 100R, thereby leading the future display market

Transparent OLED

Flexible (Rollable) OLED_02

The lateral move to bring this technology from TVs to phones, tablets, and other screens won’t be easy; there’s a lot of underlying modules and hardware in these devices that could make engineering them more difficult. But where there’s a will there’s a way, and based on what we’re seeing above, LG is going to get there.

Remember the good ‘ol days when families would eat breakfast together, dad would finish his cereal, roll up his newspaper, clamp it under his armpit, kiss the wife and kids goodbye and rush off to work? They might be coming back… only that newspaper will be made by LG and there will be just as many moms following suit.

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  • johnny989

    I guess I’m Amish

    • robjackson81

      … says Amish criminal using computer.

      • Aslan Bollin

        Rumspringa. ;-)

    • chuckles87

      We’ve spent most our lives living in an Amish paradise

    • IVHorseMen

      I’m with you.

  • JMS55C

    Will never happen. Why? Because all the other components will need to be “rollable”. Unless we walk around with a solid cellphone without a screen in our pocket with a flexible wire that leads to a rollable display. And at that point it’s just novelty at best.

    • robjackson81

      What if there is long rectangular piece of hardware that the screen rolls into or around?

    • Barry D.

      I don’t know about that I agree with Rob. Imagine having something the screen rolls out of. Something like size of a sharpy marker (but rectangular) in your pocket. It splits in half and the screen rolls out and then locks into place. The part the screen comes out of has the rest of the non bendable parts in it. Aside from the battery and with how small parts are now days since they can be soldered to a ribbon cable I see no reason why this isn’t possible.

      • Montisaquadeis

        I am thinking scroll personally. Either double rolled or single rolled of course.

        • Barry D.


        • Fred Marshall

          Hear ye, Hear ye! I shall now make a phone call!

      • Scotsman of Loch Ness

        Samsung had an example like that in one of their future Tech commercials.

  • MewkaKazami
    • robjackson81

      Imagine shades on the windows of your house that pulled down like this! Live Wallpapers, please!

      • TDN

        That would change the need for projectors, and could make theaters less reliant on old equipment. They could just have a disc player connected to the screen.

        Home theaters would be easier to get and less expensive, depending on the cost of the equipment.

        • ChicagoBob

          Via WiGig which already exists. Its very possible.

      • spicymeatball

        I’m thinking that these could replace your windows and you could have a blinds based wall paper. If they can be transparent why not?

      • Fodografes

        Also not a bad idea!

    • TDN

      only problem is, it would be so flimsy it may be difficult to control with touch.

      • ChicagoBob

        Nah they would be on some type of backing like in BatMan little voltage and stiff as a board.

    • ChicagoBob

      Hey Thats my next PHONE. :-)

  • Fodografes

    Anyone else think Android Wear in a slap bracelet?

    • robjackson81


    • Chris H

      If that’s not genius, I don’t know what is.

    • Champion of the Internets

      Apple has a patent for that.

  • steveb944

    Transparent? True augmented reality. You better have a clean wall to set up the TV.

  • BronzeLincolns

    Go Technology Go!

  • frhow

    And the future of tech as we saw it years ago for computer and screens is actually happening. See through tech like we see in movies is actually happening. For that LG take my money but in the meantime take my money for the G3.

  • Ryan O’Neill

    Until we also develop the technology for flexible motherboards, batteries, etc., we won’t have “rollable” phones. Contoured (i.e., G Flex) and foldable phones, yes. But rollable is a long way off.

  • jm

    They see me rollin’..

  • aranea100

    I don’t see the advantage in TVs unless you like to change the curvature of the TV depending on what and when you’re watching. But in tablets and phones YES! About the flexible motherboards and such. They can have bulk of the electronics on one end on which you can roll the screen. Then you can use it as a small screen and big screen depending on what you want to do. Of course that assumes that they can incorporate touch identification on the rolling screen.

  • hemipw54


  • Kevin Elrod

    LG is screwed…don’t they know that Apple owns the patent on a circle too…LOL

  • No_Nickname90

    Your last few sentences had me like =.O
    History repeats itself. Just in a different fashion.

    Technology is going to bring us back together, socially. VR will make it seem like the person is actually there and everything. You’ll see holograms of the person. You just won’t be able to feel them. It’ll be like they’re there, but not really.

    Online dating will be holograms going out for nature parks and things like that. Private messages would be your holograms doing “things”. So you can send fake videos of what you want to do with the person. So you’ll see holograms of your younger sister spilling her milk on your uncle again as if you’re there. E-cards will never be the same. Of course things can be explicit. The internet is a weird place.

    This is a vision I foresee in our lifetime.