Samsung displayed an interesting prototype product at CeBit in Germany this week - a transparent LCD screen. As if that wasn't enough, the device can run entirely independent of the power grid. It is capable of running entirely off of the power generated from its internal solar panels.
Now, these features sound cool but not terribly useful, right? Well, here is why it is a big deal. First, let's talk about the fact that the screen is transparent. This particular product will probably never serve a huge role in an average home, but it does open up some cool capabilities outside. First, imagine if part of the windshield of your car was an LCD-based heads-up display. You could see reverse cameras, speed, direction and other vehicle information right in your windshield - no need to look away. It also gives us the ability to write obscene messages to the moron driver in front of you.
The screen could also be used in stores or banks as part of the display security. Imagine if, while looking at a display of expensive watches you could see information about the product right in front of them. Or the ability to display a bank's promotions next to the teller while waiting for your money. There are so many possibilities here.
For details about the power possibilities and to see a short video, hit the break.
The fact that this television can run entirely on its own without being connected to the grid is important for a couple of reasons. First, it means that solar panels have gotten better. To be able to run the television based entirely on the light inside of a house or store means that more light is converted into energy. Maybe solar panels will soon become viable electrical sources.
Second, it means that Samsung has raised the bar on energy efficiency for televisions. While this TV is a special case considering its lack of backlighting, it is still a major step forward. With LED backlighting becoming the norm for most LCD televisions, it is definitely possible that we could have TVs that run entirely on their own power in the consumer market relatively shortly and at a price people could afford.
Check out this short video of the TV in action in Germany and then tell us what you think in the comments section!