You've heard about 3D interactive displays, mirrored displays and OLED displays, but at the Retail Asia Expo in Hong Kong, Samsung showed the first product that combines all three technologies into a single interactive experience.
LCDs with a mirrored front layer are nothing new, but this is the first time we've seen an OLED panel thus equipped. With OLED's superior contrast, color reproduction and viewing angles, it's the ideal technology for commercial applications that require a bright image viewable by many people at once.
By applying a mirrored finish to the panel, a customer can see themselves and the on-screen image at the same time. Imagine trying on virtual clothing or jewelry without entering a dressing room. Using Intel RealSense technology, Samsung's new display can manipulate and move the image to match the user's movements.
The panel has a reflectance level greater than 75 percent, which is 50 percent higher than competing LCD products. It also renders 100 percent of the NTSC color gamut and claims a 100,000:1 contrast ratio. Much of this is possible thanks to OLED technology, which doesn't require a backlight because each pixel is self-illuminating. Panel response is less than one millisecond, which means there is no perceptible motion blur, and input lag is low enough to enable perfectly-synchronized tracking of onscreen movement to that of the user.
Potential applications for the mirrored display include the retail marketplace, and even in the home as a dressing mirror that can provide information to the user based on their personal preferences.
Samsung has also incorporated OLED technology and Intel RealSense into a transparent panel.
One of the biggest design challenges for transparent display panels is light transmittance. LCDs require a backlight that severely reduces the amount of ambient light that can get through from back to front. That means objects placed behind the screen must be brightly lit in order to be seen. Some products block as much as 90 percent of the light behind them.
An OLED panel's self-illuminating pixel structure allows 45 percent of the available light to get through from behind the display. That makes it much easier to properly balance light levels between the physical and virtual objects being shown. Samsung also renders 100 percent of the NTSC color gamut and adds higher contrast and a much faster response time to make onscreen motion fluid and free of blur or stutter.
With a transparent panel, objects from small jewelry to automobiles can be shown behind a sign that changes depending on user interaction. OLED's better viewing angles allow the images to be seen by more people simultaneously.
It seems that we're getting closer to the futuristic worlds shown in movies like Minority Report. Displays that interact with users in real time can provide context-sensitive information in new and interesting ways. With displays that react to our movements, can retinal scanners be far behind?