Transparent Displays


Displays impress with their luminosity, high resolution and brilliant colors. They have one thing in common: when they are turned off, a black hole remains. You can't see through them. Transparent displays, on the other hand, are available in various technologies. Similar to a pair of glasses for augmented reality, it can allow you to see through to the workpiece on a machine or to the exhibits in a shop window, providing additional information about them.

The basic requirement for transparency is that the display technology allows light to pass through the panel. This is not the case with reflective TN such as in calculators or ePaper. The display can then hide individual segments (e.g. TFT) or add content (transparent OLED or transparent LED module). 

Special attention must be paid to the design of the content. The color "black" does not exist - there the display is simply transparent and shows the background. To show off the transparency, the displayed content must consist of slim lines rather than large areas.

More information about the products

OLED displays have their place where brilliant, bright colors and high contrast are required. They outperform LCD (TFT) several times over. The new transparent OLED from LG Display brings another factor into play: transparency. This means that not only can bright images and information be displayed, but the background can also be included.

Multi-color LEDs, on the other hand, can not only be used to build huge displays for outdoor use. If you mount them at a distance on a transparent film, you get a display that can not only be read from a great distance, but thanks to its transparency also allows you to see what's behind it.

Applications for transparent displays

In contrast to Asia, transparent displays have not yet gained widespread acceptance in Europe. Ideas for applications already exist:

  • Functional discs: Partition panes to maintain hygienic distance (public authority, hotel, information desk, cab), partition panes of meeting rooms with controllable trans¬¨parency (for confidentiality), shading (e.g. skylight)
  • Augmented reality, e.g. on the machine for visualization of problems, or in commercial vehicles
  • Front sides of vending machines and freezers for viewing the product and simultaneously displaying information about it
  • Showcases with explanation of the exhibits, e.g. luxury goods or museums
  • Infotainment at product presentations, e.g. vehicle showroom
  • Transport: information at bus and train stops: timetable and map; timetables and advertising in public transport vehicles
  • Building technology: elevators with glass fronts, flanks of escalators, window fronts, transparent doors
  • Digital signage: display windows of fast-food restaurants, shopping centers
  • Security: guidance of flows of people where visibility must be guaranteed

Viewing Distance and Pixel Pitch

Different technologies are suitable depending on the application and viewing distance.

Outdoor digital signage displays need to be large so they can be read from a distance. Displays such as wayfinding signs through the mall, on the other hand, need a low pixel pitch because they are viewed up close. The figure shows a relationship between the distance of the viewer and the necessary spacing of the pixels of a display. The y-axis shows the corresponding distance at the pitch given in the x-axis. Two conclusions can be drawn from this: To achieve the same impression as on the TV set, the pitch should not be larger, i.e. not below the straight line.  To achieve the same impression, however, the pitch does not need to be finer either, i.e. it does not need to be above the straight line. 

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