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article imagePanasonic's transparent TV disappears when you wave at it

By James Walker     Jan 12, 2016 in Technology
As part of its demonstrations during CES 2016 last week, Panasonic unveiled a new television that goes completely transparent at the wave of a hand. The TV can effectively disappear from view, revealing whatever is positioned behind it.
The LCD television was mounted in a bookcase for the demos, uploaded to YouTube by RC Willey. The TV can slide up and down the sides of the bookcase on rails, letting it be adjusted to suit the height and viewing position of the audience.
With the transparent mode enabled, the display makes the contents of the bookcase behind it look like objects held inside a display case. As Mashable reports, it isn't completely transparent but instead resembles the kind of tinted glass that some home furniture pieces already use.
Widgets can be used while in transparent mode, letting you see the weather or currently playing music floating in front of the objects behind the screen. Particle effects like snow and weather appear to rain down behind the display, making it a natural focal point for visitors to the smart home.
The demonstration shows the television being used to dynamically change the decoration in the room by displaying a wall of "framed" photos from the gallery. Although it's unclear whether many people would actually use their TV as a permanent ornament, Panasonic is clearly considering how screens could expand to do even more in the smart homes of the future.
The TV's features can be controlled with a traditional remote control, voice recognition or motion gestures. The panel will disappear into the background if it detects somebody waving at it, blending in with the rest of the furniture in the room.
When the screen is re-enabled, a subtle animation makes the picture appear to slide out of the book case behind as the display returns to its fully-opaque mode. It then operates largely like any other television, although there are a few limitations.
The transparent display technology is still an early prototype that isn't as bright as conventional LCD or LED panels. Panasonic currently uses micro LEDs to light the screen which reduces the transparency of the display. The panel is also only available in 1080p Full HD, making it one of the few premium televisions at CES this year that don't use 4K.
Other flagship TVs unveiled last week include Samsung's modular screen technology that uses blocks of 20-inch panels to simplify the creation of extra-large TVs. Meanwhile, rival LG opted to reveal an 8K 98-inch set as most manufacturers on the show floor updated their work in 4K.
Panasonic is reportedly confident it can iron out the issues in the future and also make the screen even more transparent over time. This kind of technology won't be hitting the living room any time soon but it is a glimpse into what TVs could look like in the future.
More about Panasonic, Transparent, TV, Television, Display
 
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