LG Makes Wallpaper Screens Real with Superthin OLED

The future is here. Tech and sci-fi lovers have been fantasizing for decades about screens so thin they can be used as wallpaper. But all we've seen are small, plastic-backed OLED panels that look like tiny science experiments. Now LG, the only company making OLED TVs, has debuted a 55-inch screen that measures under a millimeter thick (0.97mm, or 0.038 inches, to be precise).

LG showed off the screen to the Korean press yesterday (May 19), reports Yonhap News Agency.

Weighing 4.2 pounds, the screen is a lot heavier than real wallpaper, but light enough that it can stick to the wall with a "magnetic mat," Yonhap reports. LG didn't give any word on when, if ever, this ultra-thin OLED would become a product, or what it might cost, but it certainly won't be cheap.

LG's lowest-priced 55-inch OLED TV (see our review) is an HD model selling for about $3,000. That TV is about 100 times thicker, though that's still a svelte 3.1 inches.

As little as two years ago, OLED looked like the future of TV, with both LG and Samsung bringing models to market, and other companies like Sony showing off prototype TVs. (Sony was actually the first to sell an OLED TV, in 2008, though it was a mere 11-inch screen for $2,500.) Samsung hasn't officially dropped out of the OLED business, but it hasn't made any models since a 55-inch introduced in 2013.

LG has pushed on, however, with a current lineup of six OLED TVs going up to a 77-inch 4K/UHD model for $25,000. The Yonhap didn't specify the resolution of the new wallpaper screen.

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Sean Captain is a freelance technology and science writer, editor and photographer. At Tom's Guide, he has reviewed cameras, including most of Sony's Alpha A6000-series mirrorless cameras, as well as other photography-related content. He has also written for Fast Company, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired.