LG, Samsung Show See-Though OLED DisplaysBy Jared Newman
Transparent OLED displays are of practically no real-world use to you and me, but that doesn’t mean your jaw wouldn’t drop if you strolled past LG’s or Samsung’s see-through OLED screens at this week’s FPD International 2009 event in Japan. LG won bi on size, showing off a 15-inch display with 30 percent transmittance. Samsung’s 2-inch screen is puny by comparison, with a resolution of 176 x 200, but you can’t fault the gadget maker for trying. Both displays use organic light-emitting diodes and work in basically the same way: Instead of sending out light from either the positive or negative side of the diode, these displays use transparent materials, with light exiting from both sides. It sounds so simple when Nikkei puts it that way, but there’s got to be some crazy science going on inside.
How will this new and wonderful technology be used? For advertising, of course! LG envisions its display in public places — imagine a billboard or street sign that can be viewed from both sides — but hasn’t decided when to commercialize the technology. But I wouldn’t mind seeing a transparent display on some consumer devices, like an e-reader what lets you physically flip the page over, or a phone with a transparent keypad for “wow” factor. Oh wait, LG’s already done that last one. [Nikkei via DVice]