9. A Real On-Demand TVGet It
It’s a conundrum: We’ve always wanted our televisions to be big yet inconspicuous. Many even come loaded with wallpapers like The Starry Night in an effort to blend in when not in use. With the LG Signature OLED TV R9’s rollable screen, the television isn’t just hidden, it disappears. “Screens are getting larger and larger and, on or off, they dominate living spaces,” says designer Mike Holland, who watches shows at his home on a modest 43-inch flatscreen because anything larger would take over the living room.
LG developed a two-penny-thick organic LED (OLED) screen that can twist and bend, then tasked Holland’s London firm Foster + Partners to turn the tech into a better TV. Their creation: A screen that rises and falls (using a rack-and-pinion system like a car’s steering mechanism) out of a shin-high Dolby Atmos soundbar. After using models and virtual-reality simulations to test ideas—like having the screen come out of the wall, fall from the ceiling, or even form a showy upright cylinder—Holland and his team decided the pop-up was less distracting. “The key here is that it can roll up and is incredibly discreet and quiet,” he says, “making it look something more akin to sculpture than to visible technology.”
This isn’t the world’s first disappearing TV—even Wayfair sells credenzas that allow rigid flat panels to rise and fall—but it is by far the smallest. The base of the 65-inch TV takes up little space, making it easier to place in front of a window, behind a sofa, or in any other nonwall adjacent locations. “It’ll enable the living space and furniture to be used in a different way when we are not watching TV,” Holland says.
In an era when most of us are questioning the ubiquity and intrusion of technology, the time is ripe for a television that truly hides itself. “It’s very much ‘TV on demand,’ ” says Holland. “The ability for technology to completely disappear is something that will soon become part of all consumer electronics.”
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