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Could Google revolutionize the TV before Apple even gets the chance?

Published Oct 3rd, 2014 9:15PM EDT
Google X Modular TVs

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Huge televisions are more affordable now than they ever have been in the past, but the manufacturers haven’t made many attempts to innovate since the rise of the flat-screen TV. All we’ve really had to look forward to recently is 4K resolution, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google might be working on the next revolution in display technology.

According to the report, Google is currently developing a display which will be made up of smaller screens interconnected to form a seamless image. By simply snapping on or snapping off a few screens, the modular display could be customized to suit any given scenario, from classroom to conference room to living room.

The project is being spearheaded by former MIT professor Mary Lou Jepsen, who has co-founded three separate startups with a focus on display technology. This eventually led to her tenure as the head of the display division at Google X, Google’s top-secret lab where many experimental products take shape. Some of the engineers on Jepsen’s team come from Qualcomm, Samsung and other major players in the industry.

Google, as expected, declined to comment on any details regarding the project or even why it is interested in the technology, but NPD DisplaySearch research director Riddhi Patel doesn’t believe that the average consumer would be quick to adopt a modular display. They would need to be affordable and easy to install.

As for the difficulties, sources close to Google say that designing a seamless display is the biggest hurdle. When people look at the screens, they shouldn’t be able to see the borders, but this is technical challenge “as large as the planned screens.” The sources added that Google X is bringing in more experts to work on a solution.

Don’t be expecting to find Google’s modular TV on sale at Best Buy any time soon, but hopefully the company will make an official announcement in the near future.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.