Samsung Unveils First-Generation Transparent LCD Displays


Samsung on Friday said it began mass-producing transparent 22-inch LCD panels last month.

Although Samsung did not offer a product name, price, or release schedule, the Seoul, Korea-based manufacturer, did provide technical details for its upcoming transparent LCDs. In addition, the company said transparent LCD displays will be a valuable market for electronic displays with the ability to change from message to message rapidly, known as digital signage.

"Transparent displays will have a wide range of use in all industry areas as an efficient tool for delivering information and communication,” Younghwan Park, senior vice president of Samsung Electronics LCD Business, said in a statement. “With the world's first mass production of the transparent LCD panel, Samsung Electronics plans to lead the global transparent LCD market by developing various applications."

Samsung said its 22-inch transparent LCD displays come in both black-and-white and color versions, with a contrast ratio of 500:1, and 1680 x 1050 pixel screen resolution. The new black-and-white and color panels offer a transparency rate of 15 and 20 percent respectively, according to Samsung, compared to just 5 percent in regular LCDs.

Sammsung said its transparent displays are relatively eco-friendly, as they use natural, ambient light enabling them to consume 90 percent less electricity compared to regular LCDs. Samsung said its new display technology also supports industry-standard interfaces such as HDMI and USB.

Having combined innovation with compatibility, Samsung says its display panels can be leveraged in digital signage solutions intended for a variety of commercial applications and environments. The company said its new displays can be used for advertising on billboards, displaying information at showcase events, or as an interactive communication device in corporations and schools.

However, solution providers and businesses that operate digital signage systems also can rely on a variety of rugged multi-touch monitors for digital signage. In fact, the market for digital signage displays is expanding into the retail space.

Leading chipmaker Intel now offers digital signage solutions that encompass retail, point of way signage for a captive audience, and point of transit signage at transportation venues and outdoor settings. In October, Intel unveiled a new Open Pluggable Specification for digital signage.

Manufacturers that compete with Samsung in the display segment and other PC peripheral markets have also set their sights on the digital signage market. NEC in January launched five discreet lines of displays designed specifically for commercial applications in a variety of form factors, from a 23-inch monitor to an LED stadium display.