LG’s OLED.EX Display Tech Aims for a Brighter TV Future

Holographic displays and lickable screens may also be coming

Key Takeaways

  • New display technologies could bring a host of innovations to TVs. 
  • LG claims its new OLED.EX display boosts picture quality and improves brightness. 
  • A Silicon Valley company has developed what it calls the world’s first genuinely holographic digital-display technology.
Friends watching a sports game on a large, flat panel TV screen.

Westend61 / Getty Images

Your next TV could be a lot more fun to watch thanks to new technologies that offer everything from brighter pictures to lickable screens.

LG has announced its new OLED.EX displays that it claims will improve picture quality and brightness by as much as 30 percent compared to current OLED displays from competitors. It's one of a growing number of new display technologies.

"As display technologies improve, it's likely that we'll see a move away from traditional TVs towards newer forms of displays such as 'smart' mirrors and even whole-wall displays," tech expert Morshed Alam told Lifewire in an email interview. "This means that TV buyers should keep an eye on developments in the display market and be prepared to switch to a new type of television when the time comes."

Pushing the Boundaries

LG's OLED.EX displays are meant to beat the top-rated OLED displays, which are becoming more common in TVs. The new technology combines deuterium compounds and personalized algorithms, which the company says will enhance the stability and efficiency of the organic light-emitting diode. 

OLED.EX displays can deliver realistic details and colors without any distortion—such as the reflection of sunlight on a river or each vein of a tree leaf, LG said in the news release. 

Deuterium is used to make highly efficient organic light-emitting diodes that emit stronger light. The element is twice as heavy as normal Hydrogen, and only a small amount exists in the natural world. LG said it has figured out how to extract deuterium from water and apply it to organic light-emitting devices. The deuterium compounds allow the display to emit brighter light while maintaining high efficiency for a long time.

The new display technology also allows LG to make TVs with thinner bezels for a sleek and dramatic look. A few new display technologies meet or beat LG's, including microLED and quantum dot, Alam said. MicroLED is similar to OLED in that it doesn't require a backlight and can produce intense blacks. 

"However, MicroLED is still in its early stages and isn't yet being manufactured on a large scale," he added. 

Quantum dot displays are also superior to OLED displays, as they offer improved color accuracy, higher contrast ratios, and wider viewing angles, he said. 

This means that TV buyers should keep an eye on developments in the display market and be prepared to switch to a new type of television when the time comes.

"In addition, quantum dot displays are more energy-efficient than OLEDs and can be made brighter without causing image degradation," Alam said. 

LG says it plans to incorporate OLED.EX technology into all its OLED panels later this year. The company is also showing off some futuristic TV concepts at this year's CES conference, including new transparent displays.

The OLED Shelf, for example, consists of two 55-inch transparent OLED displays stacked on top of one another, with a shelf at the very top. The company says the display is meant for the living room, where it can display art, a TV show, or one on each of the two screens simultaneously.

Taste Your TV?

LG isn't the only company that's thinking up new spins on TV displays. A Japanese researcher has created a lickable TV screen that can imitate food flavors.

The Taste the TV (TTTV) device uses ten flavor canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food. The flavor sample then rolls onto a TV screen for the viewer to sample.

The LG OLED.EX Technology on display during the announcement.


Another new display technology could bring holograms to TVs. A Silicon Valley company called Light Field Lab has developed what it calls the world's first genuinely holographic digital-display technology. 

The company's SolidLight "enables viewers to experience digital objects in the physical world that escape the screen and are indistinguishable from reality," according to a news release

For now, SolidLight is aimed at commercial applications but could be used for consumer electronics in the future, the company says. 

"SolidLight is unlike anything you have experienced before," said Jon Karafin, CEO of Light Field Lab, in the news release. "It's only after you reach out to touch a SolidLight Object that you realize it's not actually there. SolidLight redefines what is perceived as real, reshaping visual communications, audience engagement, and customer experiences forever."

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