LG reveals transparent OLED screens you can actually use at home

LG transparent OLED
(Image credit: LG)

LG transparent OLED screens have been around for a while, but only in the form of business signage. That will change soon, as LG has announced a new set of see-through displays, including one you can actually have at home.

The ‘Smart Bed’ includes a frame from which, at the push of a button, LG’s latest 55-inch transparent OLED screen will rise, so you can peer at the futuristic TV from under the covers. The Smart Bed will be shown in more detail during the all-digital CES 2021 in January.

LG boasts that its transparent OLED tech manages 40% transparency, compared to existing transparent LCD screens that only realize 10% transparency. That means that areas not displaying anything will have a clearer, more glass-like quality.

The Smart Bed is part of a wider attempt to move transparent OLEDs into spaces where they can be more readily interacted with than simple signage. LG’s CES plans also include a ‘Restaurant Zone’ where sushi bar customers can use the screens to entertain themselves while being able to see a chef prepare their food behind the display. Presumably this will be shown in a prerecorded video or livestream show, as the next CES won’t have any in-person attendees.

LG will also demonstrate how the transparent OLED screen can replace the windows in a train carriage, which would combine information delivery for passengers with the viewing capabilities of…well, a window.

Since LG hasn’t hinted at any kind of pricing or availability for the Smart Bed, the first incarnation of its transparent OLED tech for home use, it’s likely that consumer-grade models are closer to the prototyping stage than the final product. See-through screens look cool but in terms of next-gen panel technology you can buy in the imminent future, you might want to keep an eye on LG’s other big display reveal at CES 2021: its first QNED Mini LED TV.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.