Stylish, delicate forms, hazy glass looking surface. Transparent OLED technology from Planar combines fragility of design with high-end capabilities that outperform existing systems of content displaying many times.
Recently this year the display was presented at major specialized trade shows ISE and DSE, where it got a lot of attention. With a 55’’ diagonal, the exposed prototype is the world's largest transparent OLED ever on display, surpassing a former champion 30" OLED panel by Samsung.
The OLED technology is an offshoot of see-through displays solutions which Planar has been working on since 1990’s. The line-up includes both LCD transparent displays and transparent electroluminescent (EL) displays with the OLED demonstration being the last entry.
The technology features transparent OLED components applied on a clear glass substrate. As explained in Planar’s overview, for better transparency each pixel includes open or clear area along with the three primary sub-pixels (red, green and blue). Further details are not revealed as long as the exhibited display is just a technology demonstration.
Let alone the potential of producing flexible and rollable displays, OLED is surely ahead of conventional visual technologies. Because of their light-emitting nature, OLEDs don’t need a backlight, which enables it to be an extremely thin (4 mm) open display without enclosure. As far as the brightness of an OLED display it can be controlled pixel-by-pixel, only those pixels that display content are turned on. Thus, when the black content is displayed, the pixels are simply turned off, which results in absolute black color and infinite contrast. Immensely wide viewing angles and vivid saturated colors add to amazing picture quality.
Due to its transparency, the display enables unusual options for content displaying and creation of customer-engaging experience. Various types of content are displayed differently, as can be seen on the video. According to Planar, white or bright images are opaque and glow from the screen surface while black or highly saturated content is clear and see-through. To view objects behind the OLED screen more clearly, you can use the Spotlight technology in the back. The backside of the display is reflective, yet remains see-through. Thus, the objects behind the display are reflected on its back surface without fully obscuring the content image. In case some text is displayed on the front of the display, viewers will see it reversed on the back.
As explained by Steve Seminario, senior director of product marketing for Planar Systems, the prototype was highly commended in the professional community, with designers and integrators expressing the utmost interest in its possible applications. Needless to say: allowing for the ingenious combination of digital and physical, the screen opens up fascinating possibilities in communication and customers’ engagement. Therefore, it is expected to be of the highest demand in retail applications, product demonstrations, museums, wayfinding, and video art applications.
As long as it is just a technology demonstration, no pricing is available for the moment. However, it is expected to be more expensive than transparent LCD options, the company said. The wholesale production is planned to start from 2016.
It is worth mentioning that Planar might not be an actual manufacturer of the wonder-screen. According to some sources , the display is made by another company, supposedly LG or Samsung, with Planar being a technology developer. However, there isn’t any such statement in Planar’s official sources.