New Technology Highlight –the Transparent LCD

This past week I’ve been settling back in from the fever pitch of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. My group, Samsung’s LCD Business, has been previewing some promising technology to customers at a private exhibition in Vegas earlier this month. I will be sharing a few behind-the-scenes highlights with you over the next couple of weeks, and wanted to start with one of my favorites, a transparent LCD.

Our transparent technology prototype allows customers to view informational vignettes pertaining to the display on windows while interacting with a touch screen. Whether at home, in a car, or strolling past a retail store, the potential applications are endless.

Transparent displays can even transform the building industry. Imagine a sci-fi movie come to life, where windows double as digital displays capable of constantly streaming pictures and information. The magic here is that the transparency of the liquid crystal display on glass makes for a whole new user experience to give customers a simple elegant way to display relevant info (cooking while preparing a meal, health hints or weather reports while brushing your teeth, getting more info on the jewelry you are eyeing in the showcase).

As our exhibit showed, this technology could be in the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room or in a store window. Our exhibit had built-in window blinds to partially or completely block outdoor sunlight for users who wanted some privacy. The transparent LCD also offers a green alternative to standard backlit screens – it can be powered by two small solar cells with no additional outside power. It uses ambient light like what you would find in a storefront window. In addition to the variety of uses in the home, imagine the possibilities for enhancing store window designs and customer service all at once – likely to be a popular new form of retail digital signage in the near future. 

If you would like to read more about this technology, check out my interview with The Wall Street Journal. I’ll be back next week with news on PLS (Plane Line Switching) displays for the growing tablet market, followed by posts on super clear Quad HD monitors, ultra-thin dual sided displays using a single backlight, window walls with bezel areas only 5.7mm thick, and the latest in 3D technology. Differentiation and rapid product introductions are critical to our success, and I’ll keep you posted on how Samsung may be making such technology a reality now and in the near future.

Stay tuned for another look ahead. For now, please post your thoughts on transparent LCDs. I’d love to hear your ideas on interesting applications and uses! Would you want a window the size of a wall that transforms to a movie theater? Let me know in the comments.