Rollable displays have suddenly taken the limelight by storm as Oppo showed off a world first extendable display smartphone concept at the Inno Day 2020. There’s one more particular OEM that also has a similar product in the works – LG. However, LG seems to be experimenting with a lot more than just smartphones. According to a freshly granted patent, the Samsung rival imagines the rollable display could be put to good use in laptops too. Yes you read it right, laptops!
Now, at first, a rollable display for a smartphone makes obvious sense. But when you look at it in hindsight, it gets clear that laptops could benefit from the flexibility of an expanding display. Come to think of it. Buyers would no longer need to ponder on what size to choose from. A single laptop with an extendable display could do the trick.
The patent, spotted by @Gadgetsdata itself shows the display resides in a compact rectangular tube and emerges at the press of a button. It is 13-inches ideally but it can extend to 17-inches. If you’re wondering what supports the display at such length, well, LG places the display in a slightly curved arc form that makes it resilient and able to keep its structure in that form. This also slightly improved the portability of the display housing. What’s more interesting is that the same rectangular tube also houses a retractable keyboard. So, you essentially have the whole laptop curled up in a rectangular tube making it an unparalleled portable machine in its category, well at least as far as patents go.
As a reminder, we would like to mention that this is simply a patent at the moment and a fresh one at that. Hence, while OEMs are still grappling with the mass-production questions of such a tempting rollable form factor, the laptop is presumably and possibly behind the smartphone, as far as commercial availability goes. It does look technically more feasible than the smartphone though as it would require less mechanism and supporting structures for roll out and roll in process, as shown in the patent.
Admittedly, LG is the idea candidate for producing these kinds of displays at scale. The company just recently put out its rollable OLED TV on the market, a world first, at a staggering price of $87,000 and it is available in South Korea. But a laptop is a bit trickier than that.
LG is also one of the forerunners when it comes to developing the rollable smartphone. The company’s B Project has been the subject of many a headlines and the company is poised to showcase the product sometime in Q1 2021. It seems like the future is all rollable!