back to article Samsung rolls out 22in see-through screens

Samsung has started to churn out 22in LCD panels. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think, but no - these ones are transparent. The South Korean giant is making monochrome and colour versions, both of which have a modest 1680 x 1050 resolution and a 500:1 contrast ratio. Samsung see-through LCD Both panels rely on a …


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  1. Tony Barnes

    Me likey

    Very nice - though will probably only be great for the first year or 2, then when every high street shop is trying to grab your attention with some crazy visuals, piss annoying...!

    1. Aquilus
      Thumb Down

      Wasted power

      Yeah, I remember thinking "WOW! I'm living in the future!" when those animated LCD advertising displays started to pop up on the underground. Now when I see them I'm more likely to muse on just how much power they waste compared to posters, and how many tonnes of CO2 per year that equates to.

      1. Code Monkey

        Less so with Blade Runner shop windows

        They'll at least be replacing the mountain of vinyl window signs the retail sector shoves into landfill each year.

        I agree that they will become very annoying very quickly though.

        Can we have a "Down with this sort of thing" icon?

        1. Mark #255

          re: icons

          And a "careful now", for the full Father Ted experience.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Easily Solar powered

        These consume VERY little power and could easily use a small solar cell and small battery. However, the annoyance factor is still there.

    2. Sam Liddicott

      hack them....

      hack them with pre-printed images on thin flexible plastic - or even paper and paste!

      Watch the "window dresser" making a tech support call cos "the picture won't change"

  2. Adam Foxton
    Paris Hilton

    I did this years ago!

    And was, I believe, preceded by a good number of others.

    You just carefully dismantle an LCD screen. Strip off the backlight, remove the diffusers, and remove a couple of other bits and pieces. You're then left with a transparent, colour, high-res display that requires a backlight behind it. The electronics normally just fold back on ribbon cables and can be hidden at the edge of the screen.

    A bit of duct tape later, et voila! You've got a bedroom window that has the current time and weather overlaid on it, as well as being able to make it opaque or transparent at will.

    Paris because... well, let's just say that she's not someone to watch on a window-screen that your neighbours can also see. Whoops!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Neat, but the only use I can see for them is in advertising. Therefore they are pointless and should be scrapped at once.

    It's bad enough having moving lcd adverts on every surface without also having them ruining the experience of window shopping.

    The world is turning into the web. I need adblock for my eyes.

    1. Ammaross Danan

      "I need adblock for my eyes."

      "I need adblock for my eyes."

      Easy enough, just gouge them out with Fire(fox).

    2. Rattus Rattus

      Other uses

      If they can be made more transparent, this would make fantastic wearable displays for augmented reality stuff. For a good example (if taken a bit beyond suspension of disbelief) take a look at the anime Denno Coil.

      1. Kookas

        "Augmented Reality" biz

        How would you make the eye able to focus on both the augmented reality stuffs and the object its revolving around when it would be so close?

        1. Adam Foxton
          Thumb Up

          You wouldn't look through the screen.

          You'd have light shone through the screen (so it doesn't really need a transparent screen), through a lens, and onto a one-way-mirror positioned in front of the eye.

          The one-way-mirror would mean that only the bits of your screen that were brighter than the outside world would show up (same idea as when you can see your phone reflected in the windscreen while driving at night).

          The lens would modify image so that the flat image from the LCD appeared to be much further away (say, at a distance of 2 feet or so). This is the reason that when wearing a head-mounted display you don't feel like you're focussing on a display 1" from your eyes.

          I guess that using liquid lenses and something to monitor where your eyes were looking you could have it dynamically refocus to match the depth that your eyes were looking at.

  4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Why is that although I have no use for one of these

    I still want one?

    1. Code Monkey
      Thumb Up

      2 words

      Blade and Runner

      Note to self: it's too long since you last saw Blade Runner

    2. Alan Firminger


      You recognize that the signal source, the lcd and its backlight should be separate so that when one fails you don't need a whole new tv.

      But you would be locked in forever.

  5. Stephen 2

    Remove the backing from an lcd

    So essentially they just removed the backing from a regular LCD panel?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      a bit more than that

      If you remove the reflective layer from an ordinary TFT it is mostly transparent but the colour filters tend to refract the light differently and you end up with a diffraction grating sort of effect and objects you see behind it have coloured halos either side. Presumably Samsung would have had to develop the materials in order to cure that.

      Oddly this is not apparently the case with CSTN displays, so it could be that these are actually oversized dual -scan LCDs which would be adequate if they are only displaying static images. I doubt that's the case though.

  6. Weird_George

    Key loggers?


    Or even just an empty directory that will make poorly written antivirus software say there's a keylogger...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Way back in the 90's

    They were selling these to put on to overhead projectors...

    Old skool.

    1. JB

      Even further back... the 80s we had one at college. Must have had a contrast ratio of about 2:1 and a refresh rate of about 2 frames a second, but it was good enough for a lesson about dBase III+ and Clipper!

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Really that far back? but was it in colour? If so I am impressed now..

  8. Tom_


    Looks good for HUDs in car windscreens.

    1. Yag


      It's also probably far cheaper than the usual HUD projection-on-holographic-support gimmick...

      but you'll also lose the collimation advantage, which is a very strong point for aeronautical applications.

  9. Neil 51
    Thumb Up

    Actually, I can see a use for this

    A telly with a mirror behind it - It can be backlit (or use natural reflection when bright enough) when turned on if you have a 2-way type mirror dealy (possibly). When turned off you have a mirror hanging on your wall rather than a big gray rectangle. Much better.

  10. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Up

    Want two

    So I can have an Avatar style operations workstation.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new

    Nothing new here, that's how all LCD panels are without the backplane stuff. Take an LCD apart and you can use it with an OHP or as a projector.

  12. corrodedmonkee

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

    So who is going to stick six of these on an eyefinity supporting card, then used a hacked Kinect so make the minority report interface?

  13. dlmuk

    Err look at your callendars people... April 1st...

    Wondering if this was just a somewhat early April fools joke. Though the idea is quite cool

    1. Kookas

      April Fools Possibility

      I think that's just unfortunate coincidence. Transparent screens are hardly a "tech breakthrough"; I'm sure if they wanted to make an April Fools joke, they would have come up with something a bit more high-tech.

      There are transparent OLED screens in prototype form, by the way.

  14. dlmuk

    Could this be an early April fools Joke courtesy of El Reg??

    22" no where near big enough to matter for shops... They would want huge 100"+ displays to make it count...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Looks great but the OLED totally clear ones are coming with no frame like in Avatar movie

    This is temporary, the OLED panels are coming that have no frame like in Avatar!!!

    1. Kookas

      Frameless OLED panels

      How would you make the circuitstuffs clear? You might be able to work something out with the wiring without too much hassle, but what about the transistors, resistors, chips, and the batteries (which advance at a snail's pace)?

  16. Kookas

    A little more

    There's a video or two showing Samsung's transparent LCDs at some kind of tech convention.

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