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Transparent screens make an early splash at CES 2024

As the tech world stands poised on the starting blocks for CES tomorrow, an early theme has emerged in the shape of transparent screens from the likes of Samsung and LG.

Andrew Wooden

January 8, 2024

8 Min Read

There is actually a raft of screen-related announcements being teased by the two Korean firms, but the transparent screens are grabbing the most headlines the day before the show officially opens.

Samsung unveiled its transparent Micro LED displays at a pre-show event, and by way of explaining what the new tech is the firm says in an attached release: “Transparent LEDs are poised to redefine viewing experiences, making the line between content and reality virtually indistinguishable.”

In a nutshell the usual black screen has been replaced by a transparent one which apparently eliminates seams and light refraction. This allows the transparent Micro LED to create a ‘clear, unobstructed picture for various use cases in both homes and B2B environments.’

 It has a modular design that allows users to personalize the shape, size and ratio of screens to fit different spaces. LED chip operation circuits have been directly deposited on the glass which mitigates the loss of brightness experiences with conventional displays, we’re told.

Here’s Samsung’s video showing it off:

LG is also set to present its full lineup of transparent OLEDs, ranging in size from 30, 55, and 77-inch displays. These ones are aimed at creating ‘new shopping experiences’ for retail, and LG says they “achieve a transparency rate high enough to seamlessly replace glass windows, portray accurate colour expression, and provide design flexibility that boosts space utilization.”

“Transparent OLEDs are also suitable for indoor use thanks to their lower heat generation compared to conventional LEDs, while their versatility allows for installation in almost all spaces and interiors such as windows, walls, and floors of various sizes,” further explains the release.

There’s also the LG Signature OLED T for home use, which has been generating a bit of a buzz with the reporting press. There’s not much on the website at the time of writing, but according to reports It’s a 77-inch transparent TV which seems to be more of a tech-showcase than finished, ready to ship product. As well as acting like a regular – if extremely fancy – TV, it seems to also be pitched as a sort of home hub. You can get a sense of it in Cnet’s video from the CES press preview.

There are a ton of other screen announcements made by Samsung and LG alone aside from anything transparent related, including new 8K and QLED models. Probably the most noteworthy going by the early releases involve either foldable tech or AI integration.

Samsung said it’s preview event served to ‘kick off the AI screen era’ – by which it seems to be referring to a new AI processor which as well as improving picture and sound quality, is supposed to ‘provide consumers with AI-powered features secured by Samsung Knox, focusing on inspiring and empowering individual lifestyles’ – whatever that might mean.

“Now that we are living through the hyperconnected era, it’s no longer just about delivering quality visual experiences. Displays should enhance our lives both on and off the screen,” said SW Yong, President and Head of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung’s AI screens, powered by on-device AI technology, are designed to be the centrepiece of users’ homes, connecting all compatible devices to offer users a more flexible and diverse lifestyle.”

Samsung is also going to showing off ‘a new generation of products that can be folded inwards and outwards’, including new monitor-sized OLEDs with both foldable and slidable functions, and the In&Out Flip – a foldable handset with a flip-phone design.

“In&Out Flip is a technology that can provide a new alternative for consumers who prefer bar-shaped smartphones due to the thickness of foldable products,” said a Samsung Display representative. “When folded outwards, both the front and back of the product can be used as a screen, creating a new user experience.”

Foldable phones remain largely in the novelty category of handsets at the moment, so as the show kicks off and we find out more we will have to see if anything emerges that looks like it might make the category more popular.

Big old TVs that are of a price and form factor that would make them seem inconceivable for the mass market have been a staple of CES for years. They can usually be seen as showcase features for new technology like OLED or 3D (which is going back a bit now), which eventually trickle down into more sensibly priced models for consumers.

The transparent screen tech on show this year will probably be in the same vein – while it might not be likely to be flying off the shelves anytime soon, the underlying technology could well provide smartphones as well as TVs and displays with some opportunity for future innovation.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins Telecoms.com on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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