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Transparent OLED displays are finally getting real

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Ever since the Minority Report brought the possibility of transparent displays to our consciousness, it’s been on the wishlist of any technology enthusiast and retail environment designer on the planet (evidently even Iron Man loves them).

Planar Systems, a world leader in display and digital signage technology, recently launched the Planar LookThru Series, transparent displays that use Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. The displays allow viewers to see what is shown on a glass video screen while still being able to see through it – perhaps to a real object that sits behind the glass (see the video below).

According to Planar, “Transparent OLED offers brilliant picture quality, exceptional contrast and wide viewing angles. The 55” prototype by Planar utilizes breakthrough Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology to improve the transparency of see-through displays, creating new opportunities for experience design while overcoming a major hurdle to transparent display adoption.”

Some key features of OLED displays are as follows: 

OLED Displays are self-emitting, no need for backlight

Allows the users to view the digital image as real images

Brilliant picture and video display quality, great contrast and wide viewing angle

More energy efficient than traditional displays

It seems likely that OLED’s will improve the transparency of see-through displays and create new opportunities for experience and retail design. Since the OLEDs are a light source themselves, this allows for colourful pictures which are extremely eye catching. Currently available only as a 32” display box, Planar has also announced a 55” prototype, which we hope to see very soon.

Possible applications for OLED displays 

Museum: One can display the background information or the text about the artifacts behind the glass which will display as bright objects in the display box.

Retail: Installing these screens in front of the physical 3D product and use them to display information about their solutions with reality experiences

Corporates: Incorporate them in lobbies, cafeteria and conference rooms in a way of presenting information to the employees and customers in a modern way

Way-finding: As way-finding displays they could be used without causing visual disruption in public spaces to locate shops, restaurant menus, train schedules.

Shopping app in malls: They can present information about the merchandise to the buyer, triggered by a sales associate behind the display
For more information about specialised displays for digital signage and retail applications, visit www.planar.com

(image credit: www.tomcruise.com)

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