It seems that Samsung is nearing the release of its transparent active matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays, with the company likely to release devices boasting the displays over the next 12 months.
For those who haven’t encountered the AMOLED arrangement, the image above should give some impression. Essentially, the display itself is transparent, meaning your desktop (or whatever else you happen to be watching) is not quite fully transparent, but still pretty hip nonetheless. Still, the technology will likely be more interesting in devices other than notebooks, so it’s curious to see that Samsung does have other devices in the works.
Indeed, according to reports from Plastic Electronics, the first device we can expect to see released boasting the semi-transparent AMOLED display technology is Samsung’s IceTouch media player. Before anyone gets too excited about the prospect, the IceTouch is an all-in-one style media player, and takes DVDs as well as boasting an FM radio, so we’re not quite at the point yet where your iPod will be replaced by a clear plastic device.
That said, it seems as though Samsung isn’t downplaying the importance of its new display tech; its VP of audio/video and digital imagine marketing, Reid Sullivan, boasted that the AMOLED would raise the bar for the next generation of portable devices.
It’s certainly an interesting development, though it seems like there may not be too many practical applications for semi-transparent displays. Still, if nothing else it does lead to a world in which a 50-inch TV needn’t necessarily obscure half of any room you happen to house it in, which is a pleasant change. Other than that, there’s always the possibility of more intuitive augmented reality interactions through mobile devices; rather than using a camera on the device, users could simply look through their mobile and see things behind it labelled on the device itself… simple enough, but quite nifty.