CES 2012: Samsung Shows Off Transparent LCD Smart Window

By: Shaylin Clark - January 12, 2012

Earlier today we covered Samsung’s remarkable new OLED TV. In a year where the newest and best TVs seem to be the unofficial theme of CES, this one stood out from the crowd for its remarkable display technology.

Well, it looks like Samsung had more in their bag of awesome than just a great new TV. At their booth today they’ve been showing off their new Smart Window transparent LCD display. Let me say that again: Transparent. LCD. Display. Unlike traditional LCDs, this one lacks back light units (BLUs), relying instead on ambient light to let you see what you’re doing. With the BLUs taken out, you can see right through the display to whatever’s beyond – your back yard, for example. Never fear that the panel becomes useless after dark, though. It includes a special transparent BLU that acts as a light when the other lights go out.

Also, since the bulk of the power drawn by a traditional LCD display goes to the BLUs, the Smart Window uses about a tenth the electricity of a normal LCD (when the transparent BLU is off, anyway). The panel is one-way, meaning that people who walk by the outside will only see a mirror, and won’t be able to see what you’re looking at.

Not much is known about the Smart Window’s pricing or availability. Reports coming out of CES are that it is headed for mass production soon, though, so look for this amazing technology to start showing up by the end of the year. In the meantime, take a look at the video below (courtesy of MobileNations), and let us know what you think in the comments.

[Source: Samsung]
Shaylin Clark

About the Author

Shaylin ClarkShaylin Clark is a staff writer for WebProNews. Email: sclark@webpronews.com, Twitter: @stclark81, Google Plus:

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  • http://www.academiclifecoaching.com John Andrew Williams (@williamsjohn)

    This is pure awesome. Imagine the implications in education once teachers and students are able to have transparent computers that allow for an immediate user experience on a transparent screen.

  • C0BALT

    I would like to know what the window looks like from the outside. Is it clear when there is nothing on the screen? Do people outside see what you see in reverse…

    • Drew H.

      She says they can’t see what you’re looking at. But I’m also curious. Do they just see a black screen?

  • Erick

    Do u idiots read? It said it looks like a mirror from the outside.

    • Harry Assman

      Awesome answer

    • Joe

      Too bad there isn’t more technology that addresses this concern

  • Jan

    Could you really use this as an outside window? Let’s say in an office at the 20th floor of a skyscraper. What if it’s freezing outside and the window gets really cold?

    • Phil

      I don’t believe coldness would be a problem, but if it is a problem, they’ll most likely put an outer protective glass on the outside of the window. So a normal window glass is taking all the harsh elements while the Smart window is in the warmth and protection of inside the building.

  • Frank Stowe

    All these new technologies are amazing. From data storage such as http://www.dropbox.com, http://www.mypdv.com, to television advancements…i’m sitting here with my old square box that I haven’t bothered replacing…kinda living in the early 90’s…lol