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CES 2021: LG stuns audiences with plans to roll out a bendable TV

The future’s flexible: South Korean tech giant LG unveil plans for a TV/gaming monitor hybrid that can be rolled and unrolled.

LG at CES 2021

There’s nothing like a tech expo for a chance to see tech companies trying to outshine each other with the latest innovations in technology – and this year’s CES is definitely no exception.

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Although the four-day Consumer Electronics Show is typically held in Las Vegas each year, CES 2021 has all been delivered virtually for pretty obvious reasons. And over a series of online videos, LG dropped news of a couple of truly innovative products in the pipeline: a bendable TV/monitor hybrid and an expandable smartphone.

LG’s rollable tech

LG at CES 2021
Credit: LG

As outlandish as it might sound, the 48-inch Bendable CSO Display isn’t LG’s first outing into such territory. The tech giant actually launched a rollable OLED television in its native South Korea last year – although, at a whopping ₩100m (roughly £67,000), the OLED R is hardly affordable to the average TV-watcher right now.

But the new 48-inch monitor announced at CES 2021 marks the next evolutionary stage, since it’s really more of a TV/gaming monitor hybrid. This might go some way to answering the question you might have been asking yourself: ‘A bendable screen sounds fun, but… why?’. Curved TVs, after all, enjoyed a brief fad a few years ago, then fell quickly out of fashion. But gamers, who typically sit more closely to the screen, are seeking out a more immersive, vision-filling experience.

That’s something the Bendable CSO can offer: all you’ll have to do is hit a button on the remote, and its sides will curve inwards. (Don’t tell us you’re not currently fantasising about demonstrating this to your mates.) For all its magnificent features, LG’s current flagship television, the LG OLED CX, looks kind of prehistoric by comparison.

We’re not sure when the Bendable CSO is set to be commercially available – but if the OLED R is anything to go buy, it will come with a hefty price tag. But hey: all cutting-edge tech is pricey to begin with. In five years’ time, maybe we’ll all be treating our TVs like our yoga mats.

Actually, far more interesting to us was LG’s plans to launch an expandable smartphone: one with a similarly flexible screen that can be enlarged for gameplay, which is an entirely different proposition to, say, the Samsung Galaxy Fold. It offers some real insight into the evolution of screen-based tech: if screens are to become physically adaptable, it’s likely for hybrid use. We suspect that as time goes on, we’ll all make less of a distinction between TVs, tablets, phones and gaming devices.

For a complete run-down of what else been happening at this year’s expo, take a look at our article on CES 2021 highlights and news.

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