In every African home, there is a particular sacred glass that sits by itself, away from the commoners. This regal drinking glass probably hailed from a potent family member (who got it scot free in a beer drinking game or as a gift from their friends/exes or even as a token from their boss), whose beverage is always served in this glass. In truth, no one wants to be the kid who gets sent to the cupboard to fetch that glass. So like little soldiers selecting a front liner, you all draw sticks and the one who has the shortest stick takes a bullet for the team. The rest of the siblings pat the unlucky sulking sibling on the back and file out of the kitchen shooting mirth filled smiles to the heavens as their heart beats regulate. The flayed unfortunate sibling puts on their combat face and begrudgingly walks towards the cupboard to pick the royal glass. The mission is simple; fetch the glass, hurl water into the glass then transport the carriage to the potent family member. After an almost encouraging and completely oversold pep talk, the unlucky sibling rises to the occasion.
What they probably forgot is that with a mission comes pressure and the unlucky sibling carrying the water brimming glass from the kitchen to the living room is bound to crack just like the glass will when it finally slips from their hand due to the plethora of droplets meandering to the sides of the glass. The regal glass causes them to receive a regal beating. They go to bed hungry, with an aching backside and burning ear tips. They wish they were adopted or pirates. Now, imagine if they had broken a television set, a transparent one.
Xiaomi launched their awing transparent OLED TV during the celebration of the company’s 10th anniversary this year. The Mi TV LUX OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Display) Transparent Edition was a show stopping scene as the press marveled at the creation during the auspicious event. The new model goes for $7200 and will first be released in China where the country’s residents can order the transparent set as from August 16th 2020.
Technology’s wave is obviously shifting and this new astounding innovation is a major contribution towards this wave. The launching by Xiaomi of this extraordinary OLED set led to a global conversation as people wondered, how exactly does this TV work? I mean for some of us, we are still getting oriented to the idea of a flat screen in our midst and now there is an actual see through television in existence.
How the transparent TVs work
OLED technology was initially spearheaded by Dr. Ching W. Tang at Kodak. One of his latest projects is creating FOLED models (Flexible Organic Light-Emitting Displays). These are basically TVs that are portable and that can also be rolled up if need be. Yes, I know, wow. Very soon we will be able to travel with our televisions.
The first question that pops into your mind about these new TV models is, how are they even able to be transparent?
Well, a partial reason that led to this phenomenal innovation is that Xiaomi placed all of their vital cards/guts/major functioning parts into the circular base of the models instead of the usual behind the display set up.
The other reason why the set is transparent is that this transparent TV uses TOLED (Transparent Organic Light-Emitting Display) Tech. TOLED screens, unlike other screens, use see through components throughout the whole stacks which basically make up the TV screen. On top of this, there is no need for backlighting because well, each diode emits its own light. As a result, the images displayed on your screen will look like they are downright airborne. They will just be there, floating on screen! Again, wow!
So what makes other OLED screens not be transparent? These displays have a reflective cathode layer that makes the back of the screen opaque. Even if you decided to saw off the back of the TV (you know, because you want to keep up with the trends and have a transparent TV set), your TV will still have an opaque back.
The Xiaomi 55 inch TV set, when switched off, looks like it belongs in the museum. Its simply glass staring back at you.
So we know how its able to be transparent, what about depicting the images?
Xiaomi mentioned in the press release at their event that the OLED transparent sets will be using AI Master Smart Engine and the custom-made Media Tek 9650 chip so as to intelligently optimize how the pictures appear on the screen. This advanced technology will regulate your images such that you will be able to receive optimum pleasure while catching a TV show or watching a game or news.
This new model, according to Xiaomi, is geared towards one thing; making the audience feel like the objects on their screens are floating in space. Remarkable.
The advantages of owning an OLED transparent TV set
OLED sets have always had a good reputation when it comes to quality display of pictures. In fact, recently CNET picked them as the screens with the best picture display due to their heightened brightness and wide range of colors.
OLED sets also happen to have extremely thin displays and this new model is well, even thinner. Its picture quality is said to be the best of all flat panels.
These sets also have low power requirements, a very wide viewing angle and a constant ratio that amounts to 1.000.000:1. This translates to the best imagery portrayal you have ever encountered.
Watching this TV is like staring through a really clear window, enchanting.
The downsides of see through TVs
You guessed it, very expensive. OLED TVs have always been known to dig trenches in our wallets with their whopping prices.
The good news is that as of a few years ago, the prices of these sets significantly lowered thus attracting new customers. $7200 may seem like a lot but there are sets that are more costly than this and they don’t have the pros that this new model has. It seems like the more technology matures, the cheaper the products become.
OLED TVs have an Achilles heel, water. Water can immensely damage your set rendering it useless. Keep in mind this is not your typical device that you can mount in your car and speed off to an electronics store.
These TVs also happen to have a shorter lifetime with these blue organics set only lasting for 14,000 hours. This is uncharacteristic of this breed as red and green OLED films are known to last longer, ranging from 46,000-230,000 hours.
Well, if none of this seem like a curtail to you, be sure to own this next level technology as soon as its widely available.
It will be an amazing experience, seeing characters float in your living room space.