LG Display gets even more creative with a transparent OLED bookshelf

Mike Wheatley

OLED TVs are already an established part of the furniture in many homes across the world, but the company behind them, LG Display, has ambitions to integrate the technology with far more household objects. In its latest concepts, set to go on display at the Consumer Electronics Show next month, the company has its eye on targets such as windows, display cases and most intriguingly, bookshelves.


LG Display is targeting furniture due to the unique properties of OLED, which unlike LCD displays is both flexible and transparent thanks to its lack of any backlighting.

Hence, LG Display is getting creative with some of its latest prototypes, notably the so-called OLED Shelf (above) which doubles as a large, hanging display.

The LG Shelf is really two separate 55-inch OLED panels with 40% transparency that are essentially stacked on top of each other, hanging down from the shelf-like rail at the top and forming a seemingly rigid frame. LG said the top display is designed to serve as the actual TV, with the bottom one more passive, showcasing apps such as weather, news headlines and such.

Switch on the TV to watch a movie and an opaque screen rolls down from the top shelf behind the first (upper) OLED screen, which LG claims has a peak brightness of 400 nits. With the background, there won’t be anything visible behind the display to disturb the viewer.

Like Samsung’s The Frame, the top display can also be used to showcase art when not in use, with the bottom display providing context about that art – for example the painter’s name, when it was created and so on.

LG Display reckons the shelf at the top has ample strength to hold a couple of vases or maybe a house plant.

While the OLED Shelf is presumably targeted at living rooms, the Shopping Managing Showcase (below) is clearly a commercial product aimed at the retail industry. It’s a wooden display case with a transparent OLED display in front that can showcase visually engaging video information or commercials about whatever products sit behind it.


Similar to that is the Show Window (below) which looks much like a regular free-standing window, albeit with transparent OLED instead of glass. Once again, it’s aimed at retailers who we assume, can think of some creative advertising ideas to take advantage of it.


Last but not least is the Smart Window concept, which is a transparent OLED panel built into a corporate meeting room window, offering both a clear view of the outside world and also video of meeting participants. The Smart Window has touch screen elements too, so it can be used to display PowerPoint presentations, for example.

Today’s newest transparent OLED displays follow last week’s demonstration of a flexible OLED displays fitted into a rotating easy chair, plus a second curved OLED display bent from head-to-toe over a stationary exercise bike.

It’s not clear if LG Display will actually be able to commercialise any of its latest OLED displays. Perhaps not all of them will catch on, but at the same time LG’s aspirations cannot be considered fanciful either, as its transparent screens have already become a permanent fixtures in some Japanese and Chinese cities’ subway trains.