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Samsung’s screen ambitions are transparent

First, we had 'see through' LED technology - and now, following a recent announcement from Samsung, we have see through LCD technology, which could well find a sizeable niche in digital out-of-home applications.

It looks as if digital signage applications will soon have a new way of attracting and engaging consumers with the announcement by Samsung that it is in production of a 22-inch transparent LCD panel, which was previewed at ISE to some very favourable comments. Transparent LED products – such as those from Pixled – are rapidly establishing themselves in a range of creative applications.

Available as either monochrome or colour, the panels have a contrast ratio of 500:1 with WSXGA+ (1,680 x 1,050) resolution. Compared with conventional LCD panels that use a back light unit (BLU) and have 5% transparency, Samsung says that its transparent LCD panel features the world’s highest transparency rate of over 20% for the black-and-white type and over 15% for the colour type. It is possible to see through the panel.

Samusng’s transparent LCD panel consumes 90% less electricity compared with a conventional LCD panel using a BLU, because the transparent panel uses ambient light such as sun light, which consequently reduces the dependency on electricity.

While digital signage – such as in a shop window – is an obvious application, Samsung’s announcement seems to indicate that the company feels it may be attractive for consumer products and, as such, is fitted with both an HDMI interface and a USB interface.

“Transparent displays will have a wide range of use in all industry areas as an efficient tool for delivering information and communication,” said Younghwan Park, a senior vice president of Samsung Electronics LCD Business. “With the world’s first mass production of the transparent LCD panel, Samsung Electronics plans to lead the global transparent LCD market by developing various applications.”