Sure, 97-inch next-gen OLED TVs are eye-popping and gorgeous, but I was blown away by something no bigger than a quarter: LG Display’s 0.42-inch OLEDoS high-resolution screen.
The company unveiled the itty-bitty OLED on silicon (OLEDoS) microdisplay this week at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. I saw it as part of a behind-the-scenes tour of all LG Display’s latest OLED innovations, of which there are many. I got a big kick out of the flexible OLED and TVs with motorized, moving speakers (opens in new tab). Still, that little OLEDoS bowled me over.
It’s small enough that, from a distance of a few feet, I mistook it for a smudge on LG Display’s white tour venue walls. But as I got closer, I noticed the smudge was moving. I could see that it was a tiny, 1024×768 screen. Next to the unadorned display, LG put one behind a loupe where I could get close and see the surprising level of detail LG Display packed into the small and shockingly bright screen (7,000 nits). The resolution measures out to 3,500 ppi (pixels per inch) and is further enhanced by a smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
I guess the bigger question is what would you do with a tiny, bright, relatively high-resolution screen like this? Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality immediately come to mind and LG Display confirmed that’s the target market but added that there are no current partners.
The resolution would not be the highest on the VR market. Meta Quest 2 uses two 1920×1832 screens, but they’re now LCD and not OLED, and the 100-nits brightness pales in comparison to LG’s tiny OLEDoS display. Meta’s VR displays don’t even match the refresh rate (90Hz vs 120Hz).
TCL has similar ‘micro-OLED’ technology at CES, used in a pair of glasses that can replicate a personal screen, as well as a VR headset. But the resolution isn’t as high as LG Display’s – that’s around 1,500 ppi.
It might be a while before we see an AR or VR headset featuring a pair of LG Display’s OLEDoS screens but when they arrive it could be a game changer.
Check out our CES 2023 hub for all the latest news from the show as it happens. We’ll be covering everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops, and smart home gadgets, so stick with us for the big stories.