See-Through TV?

News from Korea indicates that Samsung Electronics has started the commercial production of 22″ transparent LCD panels. The panels are capable of 720p had images without scaling (they have 1,680 by 1,050 pixel resolution) but they are really intended for digital signage applications.

Still, it’s intriguing to think about what you could do with a transparent TV. It uses ambient light so you don’t need a backlight, and as a result, it uses about 90% less power than an LCD TV with a backlight. And the image could sort of float in space, because you could also see through it to see whatever is behind it. (For TV watching, I think you’d still want to have a blank white surface behind it.)

Actually, I expect that the most likely market for transparent LCD panels would be for telepresence and video chat applications. If you were in front of a blank background during a video call, your image would be able to float in the room at the other end of the conversation. I suspect that it would be a more natural experience than the current “window into a distant room” effect you get now on a typical Skype call.