CES 2011: The Future of TVs Is Clear ― Literally
LAS VEGAS ― In a private room off the CES floor at the Encore hotel, Samsung Electronics showed its newest innovations in display technology, including transparent displays that can be used for TVs . They may be sci-fi in appearance, but these clear displays are expected to be seen on the market later this year.
The touch-enabled displays ― which bring to mind the clear computer display used by Tom Cruise in the futuristic film "Minority Report" ― use ambient light and can be powered exclusively by two small solar panels. The LCD displays incorporate edge-lit backlighting, so they can be used at night or under similarly dark conditions.
"It's a very, very green solution," Scott Birnbaum, vice president for Samsung LCD Business, said at the presentation today (Jan. 6). "They also blend into the environment like a window."
Alluding to films like "Minority Report," Birnbaum said: "Moviemakers like clear displays because other scenes can be shown behind them. The same benefit works in ordinary spaces like a kitchen , where there's a lot going on."
The concept model showed three virtual buttons that included a recipe app that could easily be brought up with a one-finger tap. When the display is not in use, items behind the screen are visible.
"No one ever thought a TV could replace your window," Birnbaum said ― and with a quick touch, a set of blinds appeared on the screen . With another swipe, they shut, turning the display to black.
While the transparent display probably will be introduced at retail as a premium product, it's likely prices will eventually come down because, Birnbaum said, the units will not require backlighting, which takes up a large portion of the cost of building displays.
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