As is often the case at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), running January 9 to 12 in Las Vegas, TV makers are showcasing some of their most spectacular new products. For example, Samsung and LG are both presenting technologies offering completely transparent screens. Rather than watching shows, the focus here is on incorporating animations into real-life settings.
Samsung has showcased the very first fully transparent MicroLED display. Barely a centimeter thick, it almost has the effect of a hologram when displaying a specially tailored cut-out animation, which then blends into the background. Advantages of MicroLED technology include particularly vivid colors with minimal glare. The bad news is that this technology is not yet ready to go mainstream, especially as the brand has not given a release date or any price information. Samsung's large MicroLED TVs (110 inches) currently cost up to €150,000.
Meanwhile, the brand's historical rival, LG, unveiled the Signature OLED T, a 77-inch transparent TV expected on the market later this year. Among the demonstrations at CES, LG transformed it into a virtual aquarium, displaying an image that blended perfectly into the decor. It is also possible to display practical information such as the time and weather on a non-transparent band at the bottom of the screen.
Technological performance aside, these two models demonstrate that a transparent screen can not only blend seamlessly into the background when switched off, but also offer sufficient image quality to create an illusion that could be used as a work tool or an entertainment device in various contexts. While this is not the first time that transparent TVs have been presented at major events of this type, these models offer unprecedented levels of picture quality.
In the short to medium term, this type of screen is likely to be reserved for professionals (or a few wealthy individuals) with practical applications as work tools or in promotional roles in stores or public spaces. It will be several years before this kind of technology finds its way into the home.