LG may be working on a foldable television display, if a recently emerged patent is anything to go by.
Spotted by LetsGoDigital, the patent was filed back in March 2019, around the time we heard about LG's plans for a new 48-inch OLED production line. The display appears to consist of six equally-sized sections of panel, which can collapse into each other like a creased piece of paper, or a concertina / accordion book where the edge of each page meets the start of the other.
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The Hague International Design System approved the patent on September 13, with a patent description suggesting that the frames around the screen would act as "stands" to keep it upright, and that a soundbar would be built into the panel:
"This design is for a television receiver with flexible display which can be folded at regular intervals. The square frames on both sides serve as stands, as well as sound bars."
To fold, or not to fold
So, would you want a foldable television screen?
Foldable screen technology doesn't have the best rap at the moment, especially after the disastrous preemptive launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which clearly didn't have the longevity or strength of materials to make it the game-changer it intended to be.
To be confident releasing a foldable screen on such a large scale – presumably for a 55-inch TV or larger – suggests LG won't have the same problems, and its foray into rollable form factors may help in this regard.
The TV manufacturer made headlines last year with its plans for a rollable OLED television, now called the LG Signature Series OLED R. But while the set was intended to launch in late 2019, there's still no official launch date for it to come to market.
These collapsible displays certainly have novelty, and potential for space-saving measures, even if they still seem a way out of the hands of most.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.