One of the biggest problems to overcome with transparent displays is light transmittance, which is a measure of how much light is absorbed as it passes through an object. The higher the transmittance, the more light passes through, and the clearer the screen is.
Transparent displays are desirable for a number of reason, not least of which is the ability to position them in front of other objects without affecting their ability to function or their visibility. Completely clear displays open up the possibility of making everyday household objects smart, for example, a mirror.
According to Nikkei Technology, Japan Display Inc. (JDI) made a breakthrough with the development of its latest transparent display by achieving light transmittance of 80 percent. The company's previous model only managed about 40 percent transmittance. At 80 percent, it's hard to tell the display is there when powered off and remains easy to look through when in use.
JDI isn't discussing which technologies it used to create this new display, but it is thought to incorporate LCD. The huge increase in transmittance was made possible by removing the need for a polarizing plate or color filter, both of which absorb light.
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The prototype display, which you can see above, measures 4-inches and sports a resolution of 300-by-300 pixels. That's not great, but the important thing is JDI reached a transmittance high enough that the display can truly be said to be clear. Increasing the resolution and size should be relatively easy.
It looks as though we may have to wait until May to see this transparent display in action. JDI intends to attend Display Week 2017 being held in May in Los Angeles, where it will discuss the technology used to create such a clear screen.
As for uses, mirrors, glass plates, augmented reality, mixed reality, and cars have all been mentioned. Having a TV that reverts to being completely transparent when not in use would also be nice if JDI can hit 1080p screen resolution.
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