Chinese electronics company Xiaomi has unveiled its Mi TV LUX see-through (Transparent TV) television, which displays images that appear to be “floating in the air”.
Billed as a world’s first, the Mi TV LUX features an edge-to-edge transparent display, leaving what looks like a simple glass screen, allowing viewers to see through to the other side.
The TV’s glass-like quality is possible due to the use of transparent organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology.
Unlike ordinary LEDs in TVs, which are used to light an LCD display, the pixels of an OLED TV are self-illuminating, ridding of the need for backlighting.
This means that, while conventional TVs require a back panel to contain their processing units, these elements are integrated into the base stand of the Mi TV LUX.
The TV’s rectangular screen measures at 55 inches, with an “ultra-thin” width of approximately 5.7 millimetres. The screen is capable of displaying 1.07 billion colour combinations.
Its cylindrical base stand is topped with a covering that has a visual resemblance to “compact discs”, said the company, which was designed to help it blend into a variety of surroundings.
According to the electronics manufacturer, it is the world’s first mass producer of transparent OLED TVs.
Xiaomi’s transparent TV will be released in China at a cost of around £5,500 (RMB 49,999) and will be available to purchase on 16 August.
Many electronics companies have been developing different designs that aim to disguise the true appearance of TVs.
In 2017, Yves Béhar’s studio Fuseproject designed a smart TV for Samsung that looks like a framed artwork when hung on the wall.
A year later, Samsung introduced the Ambient Mode feature to its QLED TVs, which enables the screen to appear almost transparent when not in use by mimicking the look of the wall behind it.
Dezeen later teamed up with the company to launch a design competition that tasked entrants with creating graphics for the Ambient Mode feature, which saw a range of creations from an architectural illusion to a “meditation platform”.
The Chinese tech giant unveiled its see-through television, the Mi TV LUX OLED Transparent Edition, as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations.
Xiaomi touted it as “the world’s first mass-produced transparent TV”.
Priced at RMB 49,999 (about $9,879), it is only set to be released in China and will be available to order from Aug. 16.
No word at the moment about whether it will make it to Singapore.
How transparency is achieved
How a transparent television is even possible is due to the set’s processing units being integrated into its circular base.
The 55-inch Full HD OLED panel that is 5.7mm thick is thus left completely see-through.
According to Xiaomi, this creates an “edge-to-edge transparent self-luminous display transmitting images that seem to be suspended in the air”.
The circular base is also outfitted with a 2 x 8W sound system that supports Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD and Dolby Atmos decoding.
It also boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, a static contrast ratio of 150000:1, and 1ms response time.
Is it practical?
Based on the promotional marketing material coming out so far, the television appears best placed against a plain wall, or else, any messy background will be incorporated into the display screen.
Xiaomi has touted the product as perfect for galleries and shopping malls, and upmarket venues such as museums, indicating it could be aimed at a different segment of the market besides homeowners.
Tagged at roughly $7,200 (¥50,000 RMB), the new transparent TV is set to release on August 16.
Xiaomi unveils first mass-produced transparent TV
The new product furthers the company’s minimalist design and earlier releases. The colossal 55-inch ultra-thin display comes with edge-to-edge transparent and self-illuminating design. At only 5.7 mm thick, the TV feels like it suspends imagery in air, and appears like a nondescript panel of glass when turned off.
The new Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition contains all of its processing units within the base stand — reinventing the traditional TV design. The transparent OLED panel is set at a 150,000:1 static contrast ratio, in addition to an infinite dynamic contrast ratio — which means it supports rich blacks and unprecedented brightness.
Transparent TV with more colors than eyes can see
It uses DCI-P3 93% color spectrum support, and the 10-bit panel employs a 1.07-billion-color combination — much more than human eyes can even see. Moreover, with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, the 120 Hz MEMC technology guarantees a 1-ms response rate, which means low-latency, smooth and clear motion.
The new transparent TV uses Xiaomi‘s AI Master Smart Engine, along with a MediaTek 9650 custom-made TV chip, and comes with more than 20 optimization algorithms designed to optimize five major use scenarios and refine graphic resolutions intelligently, for the most vibrant pictures, reports HypeBeast.
Making use of Dolby Atmos support, the device detects which kind of content is on display, and decides which audio mode best fits the scene. The Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition even features a fully-customizable MIUI interface developed to provide meticulous control over visual features built into the TV.