Transparent OLED Hitting The Market With Xiaomi’s Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition

One of the major advantages of OLED over LCD panels is that the former can be made using far fewer layers as the pixels themselves are emitting the light instead of manipulating the light from a backlight. This led some to ask the question of whether it’s possible to make an OLED panel that is transparent or at least translucent. As Xiaomi’s new Mi TV LUX OLED Transparent Edition shows, the answer there is a resounding ‘yes’. Better yet, for a low-low price of about $7,200 you can own one of these 55″ marvels.

Transparent OLED technology is not new, of course. Back in 2018 LG was showing off a prototype TV that used one of the early transparent OLED panels. In the video that is embedded after the break, [Linus] from Linus Tech Tips goes hands-on with that LG prototype while at LG in South Korea, while including a number of crucial details from an interview from one of the engineers behind that panel.

As it turns out, merely removing the opaque backing from an OLED panel isn’t enough to make it transparent. In order for an OLED panel to become transparent, the circuitry in the pixel layer and TFT layer need to be aligned as best as possible to allow for many, many tiny holes to be punched through the display.

Looking at [Linus]’s experiences with the LG prototype, it does appear that this kind of technology would be highly suitable for signage purposes, while also allowing for something like an invisible television or display in a room that could be placed in front of a painting or other decoration. Once displaying an image, the screen is bright enough that you can comfortably make out the image. Just don’t put any bright lights behind the TV.

Anyone else anxious waiting for sub-10″ versions of these panels?

[Thanks, Qes]

45 thoughts on “Transparent OLED Hitting The Market With Xiaomi’s Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition

  1. I get the feeling this display is both a monochrome lcd for the alpha channel and an oled display in front. Otherwise its impossible to show black or dark areas against a light back wall. Which means the video content should have an alpha channel as well.

    Or am i forgetting something?

    1. There are 2 more observations. 1. These images really are not dark-oriented. 2. Brighter areas make not-brighter areas seem dark. Its a perception thing. If you were to try showing Alien on that screen with a lit background, you likely find that you cannot see a thing. Remember they are not making a TV, there making a niche product (window signage).

      1. A LED projector shines its dimmest white onto the white wall where it wants black to show.
        It shines its brightest white to the white wall where it wants white to show.
        It’s your eyes and/or brain tricking you into perceiving the black color.

        With a transparent display with unknown (to the display) colors behind it, a whole new color mixing effect comes into play. I would assume there are ways to correct for this and maintain the illusion, but like I mentioned, only if the display knows what colors are back there to correct for.

  2. I’ve been playing with a similar transparent OLED recently. They are very impressive and great for certain use cases. (Ours is a mostly-white wireframe / annotation displayed in front of a physical model.)

    As is probably obvious to most HaD readers, the black on the butterfly in the picture above is not realistic. Black = transparent.

  3. Could this lead to our Zoom video chats being a tad more realistic I wonder?

    A disembodied head “floating” in your living room, might edge us towards a VR look and feel with our own decor in back of it.

  4. From the linked article, its already on sale in China, but until I see this model working I think its a marketing sham drummed up for Xiaomi. The butterfly has just been added after the fact, there is no way its actually displayed on the display. Black being very black and LEDs cannot display dark black (https://youtu.be/N8VFecEzkgk?t=33) and drummed up for marketing the 1st butterfly and 3rd are the exact same even though the displays appear to be at 90 degrees from each other).

    1. If you go to the blog post link, there is a link a the bottom of that to a Google Drive page with all the images at hi-res: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OAxID6NN3SSSWtOxgsbZPAWQ_znnFOpJ The most interesting thing to me is that the screen has a bezel and looks just like the LG screen Linus is playing with in the video. So maybe Xiaomi have either licensed LG’s tech or bought screens from them. The LG demo is for real though. The header image is obviously mocked up, because the right hand set is turned away. This display has no image from the back.

      1. I’ll believe images like that when I see video of it with a person walking around it, and a black image in front of a white background. Those just look like more mocked up promo stills to me

  5. No thanks.
    I wonder if the people making this thing ever stopped to consider the large number of very good reasons why television screens shouldn’t be transparent…
    I wonder how many people will be suckered out of their hard-earned $7200 and then spend the rest of the life of the screen trying to figure out ways to prevent light from going through it…

    1. If you’re the type of person to rush out and drop multiple thousands of dollars on the first gen of an emerging tech, you’re probably not the type to stress out over your “hard-earned” money. I know a couple of my old customers would’ve gladly shelled out 8k to have something like this installed in their living room, only for us to remove it a year later once they finally admit a regular tv would be much better.

  6. I work as an AV systems designer for an commercial Integrator. Transparent OLED\LCD is old news at this point on the commercial side (had them since 2015 in some form or another).
    The new coolness is stick-on OLED. Pick a clean flat surface, apply the film, instant display.

  7. You can try this at home, with any kind of display, either TN, VA or IPS, mostly you need to remove the Open Cell from any screen and remove the backlight and instead use natural lighting or a Frustrated Total Internal Reflection backlight (i.e. edge backlight).

    I have done this as part of my Job and I can say it looks great when you use natural light but once you rely on edge backlight looks like shit

  8. It’s early tech but imagine where this going. Car windscreens with all those advertising opportunities, house windows turned into screens, see thru mobiles and hovering advertising boards in the sky.

    Elon, Bezo give me a call.

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