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CES: Small screens and mirrors from LG Display -- a reflection of what's to come?

January 7, 2009 |  1:45 pm

LAS VEGAS -- LG Display isn't focused only on bigger and faster screens but also on smaller and crisper ones -- and, surprisingly enough, on mirrors.AMOLED screens

We got a sneak peek at its 2.4-inch and 3-inch AMOLED (active matrix organic light emitting diode) screens for mobile displays at CES today. They were shockingly sharp for such a small screen. I'm a tad nearsighted and could see images from a small distance in fairly vibrant detail without my specs. (Not a small distinction since I can't read street signs at night without them.)

As many of us spend more time looking down at screens instead of up, it's a nice thought to have a sharper image to be glued to. But really, how sharp and crisp does a hand-held screen need to be?

The environmental upside: These AMOLEDs don't use back-lighting, they use less energy than LCDs and are a bit easier to construct (and deconstruct), said Won Kim, director of OLED sales and marketing for LG Display. The downside: price. "The problem is that the cost of AMOLED is still high." With LCD entrenched as a standard, few players are manufacturing AMOLED screens.

In this economy, price is certainly a factor. But Kim expects that in 2012 the cost will be in line with LCD screens.

They're being developed for their mother company, LG Electronics, and LG Display is in talks with other, as yet undisclosed global cellphone manufacturers, Kim said.

PictureinmirrorLG Display was also showing off a couple of other down-the-road items. One was a digital picture frame that also offer a mirror -- Grandma would probably dig that for her dresser. The other, also a mirror, was for the car.

As if drivers weren't distracted enough with selecting their favorite satellite radio station, tapping in addresses, making phone calls, oh, and driving, LG Display is developing a rear-view mirror that can display video. (The not-so-great image to the left shows the glow of video on the left side of the mirror.) The company mentioned its potential use with navigation systems and with rear-viewing cameras being developed with some partners. More to come by the end of 2009.

I'm not sure I want fellow drivers looking at what's behind them to figure out which way ahead, but the camera application might prove convenient.

-- Michelle Maltais

Photos: Michelle Maltais / Los Angeles Times

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