22 March. 2022
Augmented reality brings us the illusion that virtual objects exist in a real space by superimposing them with the surrounding environment through the AR display. Transparent screens available on the market now are approaching the requirements for display luminance and the visibility of the screen itself under ambient conditions. One such product is the new LG transparent OLED Touch Signage Display
, which has the ability to superimpose full coloured images and text in high definition without losing any of transparency, touch capability, and durability. This futuristic technology looks like 22nd
century science-fiction (or, at least how Hollywood portrayed the 22nd
century in the late 90s).
The new LG screens do not need backlighting or artificial light. The colours are created by the self-lighting pixels with 40% transmittance, so the surrounding environment is highly visible. But the most important feature of these screens is their ability to function as touch screens. The rapid responsiveness is due to ultra-thin P-Cap touch sensor film layers into the display.
Museums and exhibitions are the natural early adopters of the technology, which allows them to add additional context to the viewing experience. One interesting application is the car-configurator, where the transparent OLED Touch is placed before a video wall that shows the new car. The potential buyer can use the touchscreen to customise the car to choose the best configuration. However, these applications are mostly about the interactivity; the next step should be AR.
The first sector to adopt customer-facing AR product leveraging LG screens is Retail. A good example is the new Citizen Watch shop in New York. Citizen Watch installed a retail display
which overpays high-impact visuals onto the watch display case. The floating 3D animations emerge from the physical watches behind the graphics and fill the screen to provide an immersive product demonstration. The multidisciplinary team behind this innovation included Pac Team Group
and Luminary Design Co
, who created the visuals for this ‘one-of-a-kind’ display case experience. The shop reported a higher customer engagement and a unique advantage over competitors since the AR retail display was installed.
R&D centres can benefit from the transparent OLED Touch or similar technology using the screen to forward experimentation in AR as well as the touch capability. Imagine control rooms, such as the one Nicosia Municipality has for the Smart City, or executive offices, where the multilayer images and in-screen controls can add an extra dimension to data visualisation. As an executive myself, I find this a very exciting potentiality and would be delighted to see one of CYENS R&D teams getting interested in the opportunities involving interactive AR displays on transparent screens.