Samsung was showing off one of the coolest pieces of technology I’ve ever seen in real life at CES this year: A laptop with a fully functional semi-transparent OLED display. In other words, you can see what’s on the display, but you can also look right through the screen to see what’s behind it. The technology is kind of useless, to be honest. But man is it cool looking.

Clearly, the device Samsung was demonstrating in January was just a prototype. But it turns out that Samsung is actually working to turn the prototype into a real product. And it could ship within the next 12 months.

I’d be surprised if a laptop with a 14 inch display falls into the budget category. But the sooner this thing comes to market, the faster the prices will drop.

This kind of technology would probably be more useful in other applications. For instance, imagine a GPS system in your car that you could look through to see the street beyond. Or one of those crazy-futuristic windows that doubles as a video player. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

You can check out my brief hands-on video with the Samsung prototype from CES after the break.

via Engadget

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10 replies on “Samsung’s crazy laptop with transparent display might ship this year”

  1. This means that not only can you look through the screen, but other people can also see what’s on the screen from behind the laptop. No goofing off at work, or looking at porn in the corner of a Starbucks with this thing!

  2. i can see DJs using these. also would be really promising for augmented reality type applications

  3. So the boss can see from across the room your Miranda Kerr screen saver. Yes, that could find a market…

  4. Manufacturers should spend their R&D resources in making units smaller, faster and cheaper. That is what portability is all about

    Only an idiot would buy a device like this.

  5. If you can see the screen image from the backside you could make the backside a touchscreen and make this thing a convertible netbook/tablet

    Hmmmm…. you could even sandwich the screen between two layers of self darkening material and not have to be distracted by what’s on the other side of the screen.

    This could be interesting if they think outside the box a little

  6. I would love to have a heads up display in the car.

    It seems to me that one of the premium car brands have one, actually. They where advertising how it could do thermal imaging at night, and you could see deer on the side of the road.

    But yeah, I’d settle for a 7″ GPS that I could see without taking my eyes off the road.

  7. “This kind of technology” is probably in the monitor you are using right now. LCDs are semi-transparent by their very nature. They are just using a smokey case to allow it to be semi-transparent so you still get some visible blacks without a dark background behind the screen.

  8. I have often thought how cool it could be if my windshield could help me keep track of objects in front of me and to my side, but for now, this technology belongs on the bridge/command room of a ship on a Sci-fi show. Though it does have promise…

    1. Large screen versions (with multi-touch, touchscreens) have been
      “set decorations” on some “crime science” shows in this country
      for several years now.

      Haven’t noticed any company logos on that equipment.
      But according to the credit lines – the electronics is mostly being
      provided by HP.

      Although “thin and light” tablets haven’t yet made an appearance on the
      very same shows (yet).
      I guess HP doesn’t have one of those in the works (yet).

      It is common practice in the entertainment industry of this country to
      use popluar shows as “product previews” by providing “set decorations”.

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