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LG Display's transparent OLED puts a screen between you and the sushi chef

This is just one of the many transparent OLED demos at the upcoming CES 2021.

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As per its annual tradition, LG Display is preparing to show off some new display tech demos for CES, with the latest proofs of concept showing how transparent OLED may fit in a post-pandemic world. The Korean company is setting up a few physical demos for its online showroom, and the most interesting-looking one so far is a restaurant scene featuring a 55-inch transparent OLED screen over a sushi bar. Diners get to browse the menu or enjoy videos on the big screen, while also watching chefs preparing food behind this futuristic hygienic partition, which is 40-percent transparent.

In another demo, the company will be placing the same 55-inch transparent OLED panel at the end of a “smart bed,” so that the user gets to enjoy watching videos up close from the comfort of the bed, without the panel blocking the view of the rest of the bedroom. On a similar note, the screen unit has “Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO)” speakers built into the main body, so no external speakers are required. With a click of a button, the transparent screen can partially or fully tuck itself into the main body, with the former mode still allowing it to show information like time and weather. Since the unit is set up on wheels, you can also push it to other rooms and enjoy the same viewing benefits.

LG Display will additionally demonstrate how the company’s 55-inch Transparent OLED display can be applied to a subway train in a Metro Zone. While on board a virtual train carriage, passengers may look outside through the transparent display that has replaced a traditional window. Its high transparency enabled by OLED means passengers can still enjoy the passing scenery while viewing clear information such as subway line maps, weather information, and other news.
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Transparent OLEDs have been around for some time now, but it wasn’t until 2019 that this display tech made its first truly public appearance courtesy of LG Display and Harrods. Then in August of this year, LG Display also helped install transparent OLED panels on some Beijing and Shenzhen subways (also to be demoed at CES 2021), which let passengers browse travel updates, weather info, news and more on the screen without blocking the outside view. We’ll be curious to see if the panel maker will be able to bring this tech to more transportation modes — or even straight to our homes, like Xiaomi’s pricey transparent TV. But hopefully at a lower price, of course.

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