Could transparent OLED offer a future for TV?

Last week’s giant ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) show in Amsterdam saw TV display and digital signage specialists Planar showcase a 55” transparent OLED unit.

This is, to date, the largest-ever transparent OLED ever displayed, and significantly larger than Samsung’s 30” ‘window’ panel shown at trade shows last year. One unconfirmed report suggests that the actual glass came from South Korea’s LG, although it is also reported that Samsung, NEC and eyevis, were all showing off their own versions in back rooms at the ISE show.

While the initial thrust for ‘transparent’ units is for boardroom walls, museums and retail environments, it is suggested by some that the technology could even extend into domestic environments.

“The vision of transparent displays, popularised for decades in science fiction movies and television shows, is now nearing reality,” said Jennifer Davis, VP/marketing at Planar Systems. “This technology is poised to revolutionise space design, customer engagement, and the digital display of information and branding for decades to come, and we are proud to be a pioneer in this next wave of transparent display development.”

Planar already have a range of LCD-based ‘transparent’ units in their range. These latest OLED-based units will come to market next year.

The prospects are considerable. Planar says companies can incorporate them into their lobby, cafeteria and conference rooms as a dynamic way to present information to employees and customers while maintaining an interior design aesthetic of modern transparency. Planar’s transparent OLED can allow designers to activate glass surfaces that are incorporated into these spaces, like interior windows, room dividers and partitions.

For well-heeled home owners these ‘window’ OLED units could find users in any number of domestic environments, and as sizes grow – and prices fall – clever architects could find uses for transparent screens.

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