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LG reimagines OLED with transparent displays

This story was originally published on January 11, 2021, and last updated on July 27, 2022.

LG has big plans when it comes to display innovation, and what it showcased at this year’s virtual CES 2021 leans heavily on transparent OLED technology. LG Display showcases the tech in various scenarios, including one demo that highlights its use in a post-pandemic world.  

One proof of concept is using the 55-inch transparent OLED in a sushi restaurant. Diners get to browse the menu and pick what they want to eat through a 23.1-inch touch display below the main panel. You get to watch videos as the chef prepares your meal behind the screen. Since the panel is 40% transparent, you get to see what the chef does while having a protective barrier in between.

Source: LG Display

LG brings this same display to the bedroom, placing it at the end of what it calls a “smart bed.” It gives you a better view of the videos you want to watch without blocking the view of your entire bedroom. The unit comes with Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO) speakers in its main body, so you don’t have to rely on external speakers. 

Using technology we presume it picked up from its rollable OLED displays, the transparent screen can fully or partially tuck into its base. It gives you different viewing heights depending on what you need from it. It can just roll up partially to display the time and weather or text of an audiobook your listening to or lyrics to a playing song. Its base has wheels, so you can technically use it in any room you want.

Source: LG Display

LG isn’t the first company to use transparent OLEDs. The company itself has showcased this tech in years’ past, including using it at display windows of UK department store Harrods in 2019 and some Beijing and Shenzhen subways. 

The company brought this transportation-based concept to CES, too, showcasing how these panels can offer travel updates, information on important sites, news, and weather information without obscuring the outside view.

Source: LG Display

But transparent OLED tech isn’t all LG was ready to show off. There’s also its bendable 48-inch OLED display. It is capable of bending to a radius of 1,000mm with a touch of a button. This television will be great for games like racing simulators, featuring a variable refresh rate between 40Hz and 120Hz. With CSO tech embedded in the display, it vibrates the panel and makes its own sound, promising a more immersive experience.

LG also has what it calls Rail & Pivot OLED with the 55-inch display attached to a rail system on the wall. It can hide the TV when it isn’t in use and rotate at multiple angles to suit your needs. LG’s showcasing the tech as a companion display for workout apps, so you can change its orientation to mirror what’s displayed on your phone. Whether you’d want to install a rail system in your home for this purpose is an entirely different conversation.

We got a peek at the LG Transparent OLED recently!

The company hasn’t forgotten its 8K tech, too. It has an 88-inch 8K Cinematic Sound OLED display that will work best for home theater setups. With CSO, it has the same vibrational audio capabilities as the bendable gaming TV. This year’s 8K model is considered its thinnest and most immersive model yet.

We definitely want to see more of these display tech deployed out in the real world. Which one would you like to see the most?

Check out more of our CES 2021 coverage here.

UPDATE 1: 2022/07/27, 10:16 A.M. GMT+8 BY NICOLE BATAC

Added video of the LG Transparent OLED