Samsung’s latest see-through display uses micro-LED panels

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Samsung’s transparent micro-LED display at CES 2024. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends
Let us be perfectly clear: When you see through all the smoke and glitz and glamour, transparency very much rules the early hours of CES 2024. The latest entry comes from Samsung, which is hardly a stranger to clear displays. The new hotness, though, is a transparent micro-LED display.

And let’s be clear what this is not: Unlike what we’ve just seen elsewhere, Samsung’s transparent micro-LED isn’t being showcased in a consumer-ready product. This isn’t a television you’ll be able to purchase later this year, though Samsung does say that the micro-LED is good for “a clear, unobstructed picture for various use cases in both homes and business environments.”

For now, all you need to know is that it looks very, very cool. Or hot. Or whatever sort of image someone wants to pump through it.

Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends
The new transparent micro-LED display was just one of three transparent technologies Samsung had on hand. And while the end result didn’t necessarily look all that different (I didn’t stare at it hard enough to really see anything stand out), live microscopic looks at the panels themselves certainly showed a difference in how micro-LED works versus OLED and traditional LCD options. (Not that we’re anywhere near ready to call transparent displays “traditional.”

Transparent LCD pixels seen under a microscope.
Transparent micro-LED pixels as seen under a microscope.
Transparent OLED pixels seen under a microscope.

The end result from all three techs is, of course, a display that you can see through. Each will have its own application, as well as costs. You’re probably more likely to see this sort of thing in a business setting than you are in your living room. And while that might seem like a bit of a bummer at first, consider that you’re also more likely to see content and design that’s purpose-built for this sort of tech than you are from a highly compressed streaming service.

A picture doesn’t necessarily do it justice, but transparent displays can give very different senses of depth. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends
Samsung says the micro-LED tech that goes into these new panels utilizes “a modular design that allows viewers to personalize the shape, size, and ratio of screens to fit any space.”

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