On Sunday night Samsung held its annual First Look event at CES 2024, where the company teased the world's first transparent MicroLED display. While there's still no word on how much it costs or when this tech will find its way into retail devices, Samsung showcased its transparent MicroLED display side-by-side next to transparent OLED and transparent LCD models to really highlight the differences between the tech. Compared to the others, not only was the MicroLED panel significantly brighter, it also featured a completely frameless design and a more transparent glass panel that made it easier to see objects behind it.
In person, the effect Samsung's transparent micro OLED displays have is hard to describe, as content almost looks like a hologram as it floats in mid-air. The demo unit was freestanding and measured only about a centimeter thick, which adds even more to the illusion of a floating screen. Additionally, because of micro LEDs high pixel density, images also looked incredibly sharp. So far Samsung has only uploaded a single vertical video overflowing with EDM, but hopefully it gives you some idea what we saw:
According to a Samsung spokesperson, because transparent MicroLED displays have higher brightness compared to transparent OLED panels, they are also less impacted by ambient light.
The bad news is that with Samsung's current crop of non-transparent MicroLED TVs currently costing $150,000 for a 110-inch model, it's going to be a decently long time until these new displays become anything close to affordable.
Coincidentally, Samsung isn't the only Korean company showing off a big transparent display at CES this year. Its eternal rival LG debuted the OLED T, which, unlike Samsung's model, is actually going on sale this year. The OLED T is apparently the first wireless transparent OLED TV, with 4K resolution and LG's wireless transmission tech for audio and video. That's building on the company's (non-transparent) M3 model, which debuted at least year's CES. The OLED T also features a contrast screen that rolls down into a box at its base that you can raise or lower with the press of a button.
Update, January 9, 2PM ET: This story was updated after publishing to include details on the LG OLED T.
We're reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.