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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

A roll-up TV? It's in the can

Tech giant LG unveils a flexible screen that offers a glimpse into the future of home tech

A show attendee takes a video of the rollable TV. David Williams / Bloomberg
A show attendee takes a video of the rollable TV. David Williams / Bloomberg

Roll-up electronic screens have finally arrived and flexible televisions using the technology will be available before the year end.

South Korean tech company LG has unveiled its ultra-high definition product that furls and unfurls on demand, and can collapse into a boxy can the size of a chunky soundbar.

A demonstration showed that the 165-centimetre wide screen could disappear completely into its container, extend part way, act as a control screen for smart devices, or rise completely for full viewing.

The OLED TV, which was unveiled by LG at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is still in a prototype - but essentially functional - form.

"It brings freedom of design to a space, without the limitations of a wall," a company spokesman said.

There was no indication as to how much LG's finished product would actually cost.

Chinese start-up Royole, meanwhile, showed off what it claimed is the first foldable smartphone, which can fit into a pocket but unfold into a full-sized tablet computer.

The product is available in China and is offered in the United States for $1,300 (Dh4,775).

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GlobalData research director Avi Greengart said LG's roll-up TV offers "unique technology".

"Foldable phones are going to be a big trend this year," Mr Greengart added, noting that similar announcements from other manufacturers were likely to be saved for the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Samsung is widely expected to launch a folding handset sometime this year, possibly at the event in Spain.

Other device makers are expecting to introduce similar products later this year.

Updated: January 10, 2019 01:34 PM

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