Transparent screens are the way of the future. We’ve known about them and the potential they have to change our lives for years. But if you’ve ever walked into a glass door, you know the pain waiting just over the horizon. You know the horror transparent screens could bring. Suffice to say smashing into a state-of-the-art LG OLED TV will probably hurt your wallet far more than it’ll hurt your head.
At this year’s online-only CES, LG is showing off a prototype 55-inch high tech OLED TV with a transparent design that fits into the foot of a bed.
It can rise up or down via a remote, and can be viewed from either the front or back of the screen. When not in use, the screen boasts 40 per cent transparency and is completely see-through.
Image: LGOutside of use as an at-home entertainment unit, LG has imagined the potential for this device to roll out in restaurants and other hospitality venues for easy ordering. It was also proposed for use in public transport displays in train stations, and architectural interiors. It’s a novel idea, and one that could transform how we design all public spaces.
In these settings, transparent screens would be used to order food, map your way through transport systems, check the weather or simply catch up with the latest entertainment.
While the visual fidelity doesn’t appear to be as crisp as your everyday 4K display, it does appear to be an improvement on earlier designs.
LG is currently in the midst of innovating and iterating nearly every aspect of TV displays, from rollable technologies to bendy screens and beyond. It’s likely we’ll see this tech continue to improve as competition (and consumer desire) grows.
You can grab an in-depth look at the roll-out screen via The Verge, including a full demo. It’s a fascinating concept, and one with a variety of applications. Transparent displays have the potential to reshape how we design lived-in and commercial spaces, and could change how we interact with our world.
While the commercialisation of these screens is still very much a work-in-progress, companies like LG are already making intriguing strides in the space.
The returning appearance of this concept at CES 2021 is a promising sign.
If you’re accident-prone you might consider giving these LG TVs a miss, but for everyone else you can look forward to a future packed to the brim with smart glass. Just try not to think about the repair fees.