Look Carefully; It’s a Transparent TV!

Ask yourself, “what’s the next step in television innovation?” The answer is transparency – an invisible flatscreen that blends into the home environment when not in use, much like the Loewe Invisio. This magnificent TV is not a big black blot in standby mode, like how all television sets are. It’s a clear, frameless glass surface that keeps the room in its “visually unaltered” state.

Michael explains, “As the first of its kind, the Loewe Invisio introduces technical innovation, combining conventional LCD and the latest TOLED display technology. This allows to create non-transparent / solid moving pictures with rich color reproduction and full contrast range from solid black to pristine white.”

Just what our homes need!

Loewe Invisio is a 2011 iF Concept Design shortlisted design. Winners for the competition will be announced soon.

Designer: Michael Friebe

99 Comments

  • tim Rowledge says:

    Would someone care to explain the display technology that will allow this to work? Yes, I know that there are sort-of transparent LCD calculators etc. The problem I have a bit of trouble getting past is that LCDs work by blocking either 98-ish % of the light going through, or less of it (how much depends on the exact type). They don't colour the light – filters have to do that, blocking more of the light, and the don't emit light. Somewhere this TV would have to have a light source. Somewhere it would have to have some form of filter to provide the colour. Or it would have to use some technology other than LCDs.
    I don't think anyone has made transparent plasma display cells. So – what is making this TV work?

    • Keandre Espina says:

      the light and color is from the transparent OLED but normally you cold see through transparent OLED even when it's turned on because light goes out on both sides of the screen and the screen stays transparent. this is where the LCD comes in. since LCD is transparent when no electricity flows through it and is opaque or sometimes even reflective when electricity does it is used so that it blocks the light from the back of the screen and reflects the light from the TOLED that is going to the back of the screen back towards the viewer

      • tim Rowledge says:

        OK, so TOLED is an interesting idea but I still see problems.

        LCD material (as opposed to an actual LCD device) is simply a liquid crystal that can twist the polarisation of light. By putting some of this between two sheets of suitable stuff – glass is always a good one – with associated electrode layers you can have the crystals all lined up so the light passes or misaligned so it doesn't. You need to have a layer of a polariser on the input side, so that the light travelling along the crystal is in a single polarisation ands then you need another polariser on the output side to act as the gate; in one state of the crystal the polarised light aligns with the output layer polarisation and goes through and in the other state it doesn't and doesn't. Because you have two polarisation layers you lose a lot of light – think polaroid sunglasses. Reflective LCD devices have a reflector layer at the back and so the light goes in through the front, through the polarisation layer, through the crystal, bounces off the reflector, back through the crystal and back out of the polarisation layer. Again, effectively two polarisation layers to travel through and light is lost. Note that reflective LCDs do not work by the crystal doing any reflecting. Either some light gets through or hardly any gets through.

        To make use of TOLEDs you would need a layer behind them to either reflect the light that would go out the back or a blocking layer to prevent it splashing all over the wall and causing very annoying visual clutter. Reflecting the light might seem like a good idea – yay, it's a brighter picture! – but remember the double reflections you get from a window pane, one from the front of the pane and one from the back. Now imagine that effect in your TV picture. Also you would have to have a mirror surface behind the TOLED so it wouldn't be transparent any more. Remember that LCDs don't work as 'either clear or reflective' but as 'clear-ish or block-ish'. A switchable blocking layer seems like it might possibly work but you are now looking 'through' a TOLED display which transmits (apparently) maybe 85% of the light, a pair of polarisation layers, an electrode layer or two and at least two layers of glass. I'm not sure that is going to look particularly transparent to be honest.

        Still, a few years back it was widely thought that you couldn't make a translucent conductor, and we had to find out different in order to make any sort of LCD device, so maybe someone will come up with a device that can be translucent or emit a colour.

        • Guest says:

          Hi,

          i think that you think this is more complicated than it actually is. Keandre has explained this quite right in certain points. There are two different technology layers in this. The first (in the background) is an LCD, which is transparent when not powered (so called "naturally white state") and turns black, when exposed to electric current. That's all it does. On top of that, there is the TOLED layer, which – as the name already suggests – is transparent and creates the "actual" picture. The problem there is, that without the black layer in the background it is basically impossible to create a picture that is satisfying because it's semi-transparent at all times and cannot display any dark color by itself. So if you combine these two technologies, you get a picture delivers any color want from black to white. (Plus: The LCD-Layer blocks the light coming from the TOLED, so you're not having any visual clutter on your back wall)

          It's that simple. :-)

  • tim Rowledge says:

    Would someone care to explain the display technology that will allow this to work? Yes, I know that there are sort-of transparent LCD calculators etc. The problem I have a bit of trouble getting past is that LCDs work by blocking either 98-ish % of the light going through, or less of it (how much depends on the exact type). They don't colour the light – filters have to do that, blocking more of the light, and the don't emit light. Somewhere this TV would have to have a light source. Somewhere it would have to have some form of filter to provide the colour. Or it would have to use some technology other than LCDs.
    I don't think anyone has made transparent plasma display cells. So – what is making this TV work?

    • Keandre Espina says:

      the light and color is from the transparent OLED but normally you cold see through transparent OLED even when it's turned on because light goes out on both sides of the screen and the screen stays transparent. this is where the LCD comes in. since LCD is transparent when no electricity flows through it and is opaque or sometimes even reflective when electricity does it is used so that it blocks the light from the back of the screen and reflects the light from the TOLED that is going to the back of the screen back towards the viewer

      • tim Rowledge says:

        OK, so TOLED is an interesting idea but I still see problems.

        LCD material (as opposed to an actual LCD device) is simply a liquid crystal that can twist the polarisation of light. By putting some of this between two sheets of suitable stuff – glass is always a good one – with associated electrode layers you can have the crystals all lined up so the light passes or misaligned so it doesn't. You need to have a layer of a polariser on the input side, so that the light travelling along the crystal is in a single polarisation ands then you need another polariser on the output side to act as the gate; in one state of the crystal the polarised light aligns with the output layer polarisation and goes through and in the other state it doesn't and doesn't. Because you have two polarisation layers you lose a lot of light – think polaroid sunglasses. Reflective LCD devices have a reflector layer at the back and so the light goes in through the front, through the polarisation layer, through the crystal, bounces off the reflector, back through the crystal and back out of the polarisation layer. Again, effectively two polarisation layers to travel through and light is lost. Note that reflective LCDs do not work by the crystal doing any reflecting. Either some light gets through or hardly any gets through.

        To make use of TOLEDs you would need a layer behind them to either reflect the light that would go out the back or a blocking layer to prevent it splashing all over the wall and causing very annoying visual clutter. Reflecting the light might seem like a good idea – yay, it's a brighter picture! – but remember the double reflections you get from a window pane, one from the front of the pane and one from the back. Now imagine that effect in your TV picture. Also you would have to have a mirror surface behind the TOLED so it wouldn't be transparent any more. Remember that LCDs don't work as 'either clear or reflective' but as 'clear-ish or block-ish'. A switchable blocking layer seems like it might possibly work but you are now looking 'through' a TOLED display which transmits (apparently) maybe 85% of the light, a pair of polarisation layers, an electrode layer or two and at least two layers of glass. I'm not sure that is going to look particularly transparent to be honest.

        Still, a few years back it was widely thought that you couldn't make a translucent conductor, and we had to find out different in order to make any sort of LCD device, so maybe someone will come up with a device that can be translucent or emit a colour.

        • Guest says:

          Hi,

          i think that you think this is more complicated than it actually is. Keandre has explained this quite right in certain points. There are two different technology layers in this. The first (in the background) is an LCD, which is transparent when not powered (so called “naturally white state”) and turns black, when exposed to electric current. That's all it does. On top of that, there is the TOLED layer, which – as the name already suggests – is transparent and creates the “actual” picture. The problem there is, that without the black layer in the background it is basically impossible to create a picture that is satisfying because it's semi-transparent at all times and cannot display any dark color by itself. So if you combine these two technologies, you get a picture delivers any color want from black to white. (Plus: The LCD-Layer blocks the light coming from the TOLED, so you're not having any visual clutter on your back wall)

          It's that simple. :-)

  • i am highly impressed…because i have thought of this sometime ago…now is happening hope we will soon have the mass production,can't wait to have one…is splendid

  • i am highly impressed…because i have thought of this sometime ago…now is happening hope we will soon have the mass production,can't wait to have one…is splendid

  • frandd says:

    samsung had made a trasparent laptop already

  • frandd says:

    samsung had made a trasparent laptop already

  • I am duly impressed and happy to see the development of this screen type and now look forward with an eager fever for an interactive touch screen version! Douglas Wittnebel. Drawingontheworld.blogspot.com

  • I am duly impressed and happy to see the development of this screen type and now look forward with an eager fever for an interactive touch screen version! Douglas Wittnebel. Drawingontheworld.blogspot.com

  • tim Rowledge says:

    OK, so TOLED is an interesting idea but I still see problems.

    LCD material (as opposed to an actual LCD device) is simply a liquid crystal that can twist the polarisation of light. By putting some of this between two sheets of suitable stuff – glass is always a good one – with associated electrode layers you can have the crystals all lined up so the light passes or misaligned so it doesn't. You need to have a layer of a polariser on the input side, so that the light travelling along the crystal is in a single polarisation ands then you need another polariser on the output side to act as the gate; in one state of the crystal the polarised light aligns with the output layer polarisation and goes through and in the other state it doesn't and doesn't. Because you have two polarisation layers you lose a lot of light – think polaroid sunglasses. Reflective LCD devices have a reflector layer at the back and so the light goes in through the front, through the polarisation layer, through the crystal, bounces off the reflector, back through the crystal and back out of the polarisation layer. Again, effectively two polarisation layers to travel through and light is lost. Note that reflective LCDs do not work by the crystal doing any reflecting. Either some light gets through or hardly any gets through.

    To make use of TOLEDs you would need a layer behind them to either reflect the light that would go out the back or a blocking layer to prevent it splashing all over the wall and causing very annoying visual clutter. Reflecting the light might seem like a good idea – yay, it's a brighter picture! – but remember the double reflections you get from a window pane, one from the front of the pane and one from the back. Now imagine that effect in your TV picture. Also you would have to have a mirror surface behind the TOLED so it wouldn't be transparent any more. Remember that LCDs don't work as 'either clear or reflective' but as 'clear-ish or block-ish'. A switchable blocking layer seems like it might possibly work but you are now looking 'through' a TOLED display which transmits (apparently) maybe 85% of the light, a pair of polarisation layers, an electrode layer or two and at least two layers of glass. I'm not sure that is going to look particularly transparent to be honest.

    Still, a few years back it was widely thought that you couldn't make a translucent conductor, and we had to find out different in order to make any sort of LCD device, so maybe someone will come up with a device that can be translucent or emit a colour.

  • Victor Velesvilla Velezvia says:

    Amazing!

  • Victor Velesvilla Velezvia says:

    Amazing!

  • This made me smile. I enjoy Loewe products so it is great to see an equally creative treatment in this ad. Go Loewe.

  • This made me smile. I enjoy Loewe products so it is great to see an equally creative treatment in this ad. Go Loewe.

  • FAY says:

    HOW MUCH IT COSTS??

  • DJ Supreme says:

    Sony already has a large format transparent display which has been used in high end custom installations.

  • Kindlebuy says:

    Wow, I just saw an article about this posted in a South African website (my country) and I had to come and see the specifics of the design. It is exquisite and it is definitely the next generation of television styles. Love it!

  • Thanks so much Keandre. Perhaps you should have written the article. Precise and informative thanks.

Comments are closed.