Transparent OLEDs: introduction and market status

OLED technology enables thin, efficient and bright displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are currently used in many mobile devices, some TVs and lighting fixtures. OLED displays offer a better image quality compared to LCD or Plasma displays - and can also be made flexible and transparent.

Transparent OLED displays

Several companies develop transparent OLED (also referred to as T-OLED) technologies. While there's no inherent technology barrier towards transparent OLED displays, finding actual applications for such displays is not easy.

Transparent OLED automatic doors ,LGD and Assa Abloy

As of 2021, LG Display is producing 55-inch transparent OLED panels (used mostly in signage and commercial settings) while other companies produce small (around 1-2 inch in size) transparent PMOLED display. In April 2013 we posted a review of Futaba's 2" 160x128 transparent PMOLED panel - which could be an interesting read even if this specific display is no longer in production.

Transparent OLED Lighting

OLED technology can be used to make lighting panels - these are thin, area-lit and efficient lighting panels, that can be made transparent. Unlike displays, transparent OLED lighting panels have more immediate applications (embedded in windows, for example). In April 2012 we posted our hands-on review with a transparent Tabola OLED lighting panel sample. As the OLED lighting market in general is still at an early stage, we do not see actual adoption and production of transparent OLED lighting.

OLED-Info's Transparent OLEDs Market Report

OLED-Info offers a comprehensive Transparent OLED Market Report which gives all the information you need to understand this market and the future of transparent OLEDs. The report explains:

  • Transparent OLED properties and advantages
  • What are the main challenges towards transparent OLEDs
  • What kind of transparent OLED displays are currently on the market
  • The transparent OLED lighting market

The report package also provides a complete list of transparent OLED developers and makers and their current (and future) products, and a lot more. Read more here!

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The latest transparent OLED news:

Korea's Great Train eXpress subway installs LGD's 55" transparent OLED displays

LG Display announced that Korea's newly launched Great Train eXpress (GTX) subway service has installed the company's 55" transparent OLED displays in the cabin windows.

This is the first subway service in Korea to install transparent OLEDs (similar projects have already been deployed in China, Russia, and Japan). The idea is that the OLEDs create a "comfortable and smart on-board experience by displaying varied content". LGD initally installed 16 OLED displays on a single train with eight cars running on the inaugural GTX line between Suseo and Dongtan. Going forward, the GTX plans to install OLED panels in all of its trains.

Read the full story Posted: May 02,2024

Researchers at the Fraunhofer IPMS develop semi-transparent OLED microdisplays

Researchers from the Fraunhofer IPMS have developed a semi-transparent high resolution OLED microdisplay, that is significantly lighter than conventional combiner-based optical see-through near-to-eye systems. The specification of the display was not disclosed, but one can see it's a monochrome yellow panel.

The Fraunhofer researchers developed a new semi-transparent OLED-on-silicon microdisplay technology, which enabled the new display. The technology is based on modern and advanced silicon CMOS processe, applied to silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers. The new wafer technology can be used to implement very thin circuitry layers. With the help of a specific IC design and an appropriate transfe-to-glass process flow, the transparent OLEDs were enabled.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 25,2024

Seoul Metro installs more transparent OLED based AI translation services throughout the city

Towards the end of 2023, Seoul's Metropolitan Government has initiated a new pilot test at Myeong-dong Station that offers an AI-powered translation service for tourists that enables them to communicate with the subway staff through a transparent 55" LG OLED display.

Transparent OLEDs at Seoul Meyond-dong station

The pilot was successful, and Seoul's Metro expanded the service to 11 stations, throughout Seoul. This is one of the first useful applications of transparent OLED displays, and it is great to see it expanded in Korea. We do not know whether there are any plans to roll out more such displays in Korea.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 16,2024

LG Display's WOLED panels receive new low-plastic and eco-friendliness certifications from UL and SGS

LG Display says that its WOLED TV and gaming displays have been awarded UL's low-plastic verification, given to products in which the plastic usage accounts to less than 5% of their total weight.

LGD says that its 65-inch OLED TV panel contains about 4% plastic content, about 905 lower than to a 65" LCD panel. In addition, by substituting key components with easily recyclable materials, LG Display has increased the recyclability of parts to as high as 92.7% at disposal.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 27,2024

Lian Li shows a prototype motorized gaming desk with a 30-inch transparent OLED display

Taiwan-based PC cases and accessory maker Lian Li is showing a new motorized gaming desk with a built-in  30-inch transparent OLED display.

The DK-07, currently in prototype stage, adopts LG Display's1366x768 transparent WOLED display. The desk is also a PC case. It's not clear what is the use case for the transparent display - the company is saying it can be a secondary display for your computer - and it is also showing a demo in which the transparent OLED displays ocean waves to create a nice effect. The display does not cover the entire desk area, as you can see in the image above.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 17,2024

The OLED Marketplace now lists LG Display's and BOE's transparent OLED displays

The OLED Marketplace is now listing LGD's range of transparent OLED displays, currently in 30-inch (HD resolution) and 55-inch (FHD resolution). LG's 77" transparent OLED, which will soon enter production, will also be available soon. The displays are available with an optional touch display, can be bought as a bare panel, or a monitor, or a complete 'kiosk' solution.

Transparent OLEDs at Seoul Meyond-dong station

In addition to LGD's displays, we also list BOE's 55" FHD transparent OLED displays. BOE's panel offers similar specifications to LGD's panels, but are lower in cost. BOE is also producing 49-inch transparent OLEDs, and these will hopefully be available at the OLED marketplace soon.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 25,2024

TCL CSoT showcases transparent, flexible and inkjet printed OLED displays at CES 2024

TCL CSoT demonstrated several OLED displays at CES 2024. first up we have an automotive 10.1” transparent OLED display, that offers 52% transparency. CSoT says that this is a "Smart Transparent" display, although it's not clear what is meant by that exactly.

The second display is a 14" 2.8K (2880x1800, 240 PPI) inkjet printed hybrid OLED. This is the first time that CSoT has printed a laptop AMOLED display. It uses an IGZO (Oxide-TFT) backplane, and offer a variable refresh rate (30-120Hz) to expand the battery life. This display was first shown last month, when TCL stated it is on track to start mass producing OLEDs using an inkjet printing process in the second half of 2024.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 12,2024

LG Labs suggests putting a transparent OLED display in front of a vacuum tube audio device

LG Labs (Korea's experimental product marketing unit) announced a new design, called the LG DukeBox, which is an "innovative" audio product that combines vacuum tube audio with a transparent OLED display that covers it. The OLED can be used to mimic a glass box, or a fireplace, or to show actual content such as movies.

This is a weird, but maybe quite lovely, concept. LG is not likely to actually commercialize this, but it is always good to know that the company is looking for potential applications for its transparent OLED displays. 

Read the full story Posted: Jan 03,2024

Seoul's subway tests a new translation service with transparent OLED displays

Seoul's Metropolitan Government has initiated a new pilot test at Myeong-dong Station that offers an AI-powered translation service for tourists that enables them to communicate with the subway staff through a transparent OLED display that shows relevant information during the conversation. The service supports 13 languages and aims to enable tourists to quickly and accurately receive information about the subway.

The transparent OLED display is a 55-inch OLED produced by LG Display. The pilot test will run for four months, currently at just one station. If the pilot is successful, it will be expanded to five stations in Seoul. 

Read the full story Posted: Dec 05,2023