Article last updated on: Feb 10, 2019

OLED technology enables thin, efficient and bright displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are currently used in many mobile devices, some TVs and lighting fixtures. OLED displays offer a better image quality compared to LCD or Plasma displays - and can also be made flexible and transparent.

The actual OLED materials are transparent, and indeed it's possible to fabricate transparent OLEDs (sometimes refereed to as T-OLEDs). Many OLED makers are developing transparent OLEDs, and we have seen prototypes up to 55" in size (the largest and most advanced transparent OLED prototypes have been demonstrated by Samsung and LG). Samsung did intend to start producing 55" transparent OLEDs in 2016, but later decided to stop that program.

Small (up to 2.4" in size) transparent OLED displays have been in the market for several years - but applications have been few and far between. Both Neoview Kolon and Futaba used to produce such displays (in April 2013 we posted a review of Futaba's 2" 160x128 transparent PMOLED panel - but both companies stopped producing these OLEDs and currently it is difficult to acquire non-custom transparent OLEDs.

Transparent OLED Lighting

OLED technology can be used to make lighting panels - these are thin, area-lit and efficient lighting panels, that can be made transparent. Unlike displays, transparent OLED lighting panels have more immediate applications (embedded in windows, for example). In April 2012 we posted our hands-on review with a transparent Tabola OLED lighting panel sample.



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The latest OLED encapsulation news:

LG launches its 55" transparent touch-enabled OLED signage solutions

Last week the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) event took place, and LG Electronics demonstrated its latest OLED and LED signage solutions. LG also used the event to launch its 55" transparent touch-enabled OLED displays:

LG has been demonstrating 55" transparent OLED displays for many years, and the latest prototype shown at CES 2019 featured a transparency of 40%. We can assume that these new commercial displays feature the same transparency. It is not clear yet when these displays will start shipping - and what will be the price.

Here are the main displays shown at LG Display's CES 2019 booth

LG Display had an impressive booth at CES 2019, show off the company's latest display technologies - and most of these were OLED displays, of course. LGD sent us this nice video that shows the main displays at their booth:

The video shows LG's flower OLED installation made up from four curved 65" OLED TV panels, the 88" Crystal-Sound-OLED (CSO) panel with the built-in speaker, LG's new 65" Crystal-Motion OLED (which features an MPTR of 3.5 ms - the world's fastest according to LGD) and finally LG's latest 55" transparent OLED panels.

LG Display to unveil new transparent, automotive, 8k and CSO OLEDs at CES 2019

LG Display announced the OLED displays it will demonstrate at CES 2019, starting on Tuesday January 8th. We already know that LG Electronics will launch a 88" 8K OLED TV (the OLED Z9) but now LGD says it will demonstrate a 88" Crystal Sound OLED (CSO) panel - which has a sound system built into the panel (which acts as the membrane).

LGD 65'' 8K OLED panel (CES 2019)

LGD will also unveil a 65" 8K OLED - which you can see in the image above.

Yeolight new candle-like OLED lighting panels to soon hit the market

Yeolight Technology (which was spun-off Visionox in May 2015) developed candle-shaped transparent OLED lighting panels. The segmented panels have five different lighting panels each with its own brightness. The total size is 11.26 x 26.26 mm (with a thickness of 1.05 mm).

Yeolight tells us that these new OLED candles has been developed for a customer that will soon ship its final product to the market. The panels are now in production.

Panasonic demonstrates a transparent OLED TV prototype in Shanghai

Panasonic is demonstrating a new transparent OLED TV "Smart Glass" prototype at the China International Import Expo tradeshow in Shanghai. We do not have any specification of this panel.

In September 2017 Panasonic demonstrated a 55" 4K transparent OLED, this could be the same display but we are not sure. We do not know who's the producer of the panel itself, but it is likely to be LG Display.

Where are the transparent OLEDs?

Transparent displays are of great interest, and many envision a plethora of possible applications that use transparent screens in the retail, commercial and consumer markets. There are many exciting applications - but none with real and immediate demand.

Many OLED makers are developing transparent OLEDs, and in the past we've seen several producers that introduced such displays to the market - only to halt production a few months later. Device makers are on the lookout for such displays, and are still disappointed even though the technology is ready.

OLED-Info's transparent, flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to July 2018

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The OLED for VR/AR Market Report:

  • Why OLEDs are adopted in almost all VR HMDs
  • What kind of displays are required for VR and AR applications
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  • Current and future VR and AR systems

The report package provides a great introduction to the emerging VR and AR market, and details the role that OLED displays will have. Read more here!

Aura announce its premium aircraft, with OLED displays

US-based Aura is a new semi-private boutique airline. Aura announced its new aircraft design, and two different classes - first and wave. The wave class includes OLED displays in the windows (Aura says these will be transparent OLEDs).

Aura aircraft OLED ceiling photo

The wave class will also include a large tiled OLED display on the ceiling (as you can see in the image above), which will simulate the sky. These look like LG's commercial OLED TV installation.

The 2019 OLED Korea ConferenceThe 2019 OLED Korea Conference