Transparent OLED innovation eliminates backlighting needs

February 06, 2015 // By Paul Buckley
Display and digital signage technology innovator, Planar Systems, Inc. is to unveil transparent OLED technology featured in a 55 inch prototype. The technology is aimed at revolutionising how information is displayed in retail merchandising, museum exhibitions and corporate reception area applications.

Planar's OLED displays are light-emitting while overcoming a major barrier to transparent display adoption.

“The vision of transparent displays, popularised for decades in science fiction movies and television shows, is now nearing reality,” suggested Jennifer Davis, vice president of marketing at Planar Systems. “This technology is poised to revolutionise space design, customer engagement, and the digital display of information and branding.”

Transparent displays allow users to view what is shown on a glass video screen while still being able to see through it, enabling them, for example, to overlay digital images onto real objects that sit behind the glass. Based on continued customer feedback and further technology development under way, Planar anticipates adding transparent OLED technology as a product offering in early 2016, paving the way toward broad market adoption.

Transparent OLED is appropriate for a broad range of applications including those in retail, museum and corporate settings. Retailers can install these displays in front of actual products to provide digital information about their merchandise, creating augmented reality experiences. Museums can use them to encourage patrons to interact with exhibits by displaying artifacts overlaid with text, images or video content designed to educate and inspire. Companies can incorporate them into their lobby, cafeteria and conference rooms as a dynamic way to present information to employees and customers while maintaining an interior design aesthetic of modern transparency. Planar’s transparent OLED will allow designers to activate glass surfaces that are incorporated into these spaces, such as interior windows, room dividers and partitions.

Transparent OLED will, says Planar, offer brilliant picture quality, exceptional contrast and wide viewing angles. Because the OLEDs themselves emit light, viewing angles are broad and colour performance is exceptional, leading to vivid, eye-catching installations. Moreover, because only those pixels that display content are turned on, a transparent OLED showing video will exhibit better contrast and energy efficiency than traditional displays.