Microsoft wrapped up their final appearance at CES with a bang, but what may have been the coolest windows product to emerge from last week’s event had nothing to do with a new smartphone or the notable operating system.
There’s a lot of buzz around the Samsung Transparent Smart Window, the full touch TFT (thin-film transistor) LCD display that turns any household window into a prop from Minority Report. The 46-inch, 1366×768 resolution display won the CES 2012 award for innovation and, from what we see in the demo below, it’s not hard to see why.
Pretty cool stuff, but we can’t quite consider this to be “brand new” technology. Samsung revealed their transparent display back in March 2011 as a product that could be a successful advertising tool.
“Unfortunately that application proved too mundane to catch the public’s attention in quite the way Samsung hoped for,” explains Chris Davies in an article from Slash Gear. “Hence the return of the tech last week and the far more exciting prospect of your double-glazing telling you your latest Tweets, Facebook friend requests and Google+ Hangouts.”
The practical applications of the Smart Window go well beyond social media. Users can watch TV and video, surf the web, check out weather forecasts, flight information, or even display a recipe as they cook in the kitchen. And did you see the virtual blinds that let you control the light coming in?
The Smart Window display runs on ambient lighting, which allows the sunlight to power the LCD from the outside. And as Jose Vilches from Tech Spot explains, “privacy shouldn’t be a problem as the display reportedly acts as a two-way mirror — you can see out but not the other way around. Also, during the night time when there’s no light shining through the window powering the device, you can switch to night mode and use an edge-lit backlight instead.”
The Smart Window is still considered a “concept device” but the brass at Samsung have reportedly penciled Q4 2012 for production. We’re not exactly sure how much this transparent display would cost, just as we’re still a little foggy on the potential market for such a device.