Samsung's components division was wowing visitors to this year's CeBIT trade fair with a transparent 46in 'Window LCD', which it claimed was a world first.
Presented to PC Advisor as "something fun" after we discussed the firm's environmentally minded 'green DDR' plans, the screen looks like a window with screen elements moving around on the glass. You can see everything on the screen quite clearly, but you can also see through to whatever's behind; a nice view, perhaps.
Reflections are a little confusing here, but you can just make out the model buildings Samsung arranged behind the Window LCD, while screen elements remain clearly visible
The idea is that, during the day, backlighting is not required; all necessary light is provided by the sun. A Samsung representative claimed that 90 percent of energy consumption in an LCD monitor is taken up by backlighting, making the technology a potential boon in terms of cost savings and the environment.
Once dusk falls the benefits might seem less obvious, but at this point you can switch on backlighting as usual. Samsung also showed us twin solar panels that can store up energy during the day and help to run things at night.
Samsung representatives said they hope to strike a deal to have the screens fitted into consumer products in the reasonably near future - the firm hopes that mass production will begin this year. The prototype is so early in the development process that staff couldn't reveal any more details - not even the resolution of the sample, and certainly not pricing estimates. Watch this space for more.