“Almost nobody does OLED and we’re the world leader in OLED,” says Dan Smith, senior director of business solutions for LG Electronics.
The OLED conversation is particularly interesting at DSE 2017. As Smith points out, digital signage as we know it is a little over a decade old making it a good time to reflect on how far the market has evolved.
Ten years ago digital signage rarely went beyond a 16:9 display with static information, Smith recalls. “If you look at how the industry has transformed, LG has really taken a leadership role in changing from just being digital signage to creating customer experiences. Almost every end user we talk to, whether it’s a QSR, retailer, auto dealer or clothing person, they’re now trying to create an experience for the customer visually – to get them attached to the product, get them involved with the product and get them engaged.”
Along the way, LG became a leader in developing LCD solutions used in digital signage. “We’ve continued that leadership role,” Smith says. “That’s really a core competency. We’re still the industry leader for performance and durability.”
While that LCD leadership role is on display in LG’s DSE 2017 booth, it’s hard to ignore the adjacent market-changing OLED solutions. Smith took some time to chat with CI about OLED. Here are some takeaways:
It’s Right to Be in Awe of OLED
OLED is unparalleled in terms of color saturation, contrasts, off-axis viewing angle, black levels. It’s a huge improvement from LCD, even the best LCDs in the world. We now have a new image quality that has never been seen.”
Form Factor Is Big Factor
Not only is it the best image quality ever seen in displays, but it also creates a form factor we’ve never had before. What you [see in LG’s DSE 2017 booth] is not only that image quality but the incredibly entertaining, eye-catching, experience-creating form factors, one of them being OLED wallpaper.
We are actually taking OLED and creating in a wallpaper format.
Because the display is incredibly thin, at just a few millimeters thick, we can mount it on the wall with magnets. You get the same image quality, but you get a form factor you’ve never seen before. Every time someone walks up and looks at it, they think it’s a recessed into the wall. It’s not. It’s a light-emitting form factor. There are no backlights. It’s extremely thin.
OLED Wallpaper Will Be Everywhere
The wallpaper is probably the product that we’re going to see the most volume from this year, in terms of creating just a tremendous number of applications.
Imagine taking that wallpaper and creating it in a form factor that’s designed for video walls. So, what [LG’s research and development department] did is they reformatted it just slightly for the connectors. [In LG’s DSE 2017 booth is] an OLED video wall. Take the unparalleled image quality and creative video wall out of it. It’s stunning. Not only is it the best image quality, but because it’s OLED and because it flexible, we can do a flat video wall. We can do a curved video wall. We can do tunnels. We can do waves.
OLED Creates Limitless Shape Options
OLED, because of its physical structure, can be mounted on a ceiling. It can be mounted on a wall, or can be mounted on underneath a floor. LCD is not designed to go more than about the 10 degree angle because of all the layers that are involved in creating the display. So, you’ve got the wallpaper. You got the video wall. You’ve got curving capabilities. You’ve got the ability to go ceilings, walls and floors. The form factor is just incredible.
OLED Creates Two-Sided Display Possibility
The other thing we’re doing with that very thin, flexible form factor is we’re putting it sandwiched between two pieces of glass. We can put two displays back to back or in glass OLED display. When you put them back to back, sandwich between two plates of glass, we actually have a design that can be hung from a ceiling, or there’s a floor mount.
It gives a perspective of an image just floating in the air. Not only is the image quality unbelievable, but every time people start looking at the form factors, they get extremely excited.
We’ve taken a 55-inch and prepackaged it because we thought that might be a mainstream piece that people are interested in. We call that our duel-view flat OLED. That’s two 55[-inch displays] sandwiched together back to back … Then, can be mounted. It has a holder or a mount. It can mount it from the ceiling, from the floor or off the wall … It’s a total of 8millimeters thick. It’s very nice for retail, and it’s very nice for signage.