A Transparent Display with Glass-Like Appearance
∼Innovating New Uses and Customer Experiences∼
JDI was the world’s first to create a transparent display without the use of polarizers, color filters, or backlights, components once thought indispensable to LCDs. We think of this technology not as making possible displays with improved transparency but instead as the more game-changing glass that can display. JDI is currently using this technology in the transparent interface Rælclear .
1. Global No.1 Technology
The newly developed transparent display consists of the following three technological elements, which are combined to realize a highly transparent LCD capable of displaying in full color.
|(1)||Edge Lighting (LCD lit from the edge of the panel glass)|
|(2)||Newly developed liquid crystal that can switch between being transparent and light-scattering|
|(3)||Field Sequential Driving (high-speed switching of the three colors red, green, and blue)|
A simple diagram of the display principle is shown in Figure 1. Light is guided from the edge of the panel to all areas inside of the display in the same way that light passes through optical fiber (this light is not visible from outside the glass). Then, by controlling the state of transparency and scattering, through the application of voltage, at the single-pixel level, the light inside the panel can then be transmitted outside of the panel and therefore viewable to users. This light is distributed equally on both sides of the glass. By switching the color of the light guiding the panel at a speed faster than perceptible to the human eye, users will see images displayed in full color. It is like an ultra-high-speed flipbook. In this way, we have demonstrated a new display principle that does not use polarizers, color filters, or backlights, components thought to be essential to color LCDs. These conventional components absorb light, resulting in a very low transmittance rate of 10% or less. By removing these components, we have achieved never before seen levels of transmittance and transparency.
2. Key Differentiating Features
(1) High Transparency
The transmittance* when the power is off is 84%, close to the 92% transmittance of ordinary plate glass. In addition, we have made the wiring within the display nearly invisible and taken efforts to prevent distortion of the light transmitted through the display to make the appearance as close as possible to that of a single sheet of glass.
(2) Two-Way Viewability
Until now, displays have only been viewable from one side. Our newly developed transparent display technology takes advantage of the light scattering phenomenon to allow for information and images to be viewed from both sides of the display (text will appear reversed when viewed from the opposite side).
(3) Wide Viewing Angle
Similarly, because of the light scattering phenomenon, information can be clearly viewed from a very wide range of angles: almost 180 degrees on one side or 360 degrees when combining the two sides.
3. New Value Creation
We believe that these three features will enable us to create new customer experiences and realize new value that have yet been difficult to achieve with ordinary non-transparent displays.
(1) Only Visible When Needed
A commonly used display, when not in use, is a black board with a large, unwanted presence. In other words, conventional displays have become walls. They disrupt the eyelines of people using a space and fail to harmonize with the space in which they are installed. The newly developed transparent display has the appearance of glass when not in use, so it is much more able to blend in and harmonize with the interior environments in which it is installed.
(2) Improving Face-to-Face Communication
By placing a transparent display in between people having face-to-face conversations, facial expressions and body language can be viewed alongside transcriptions or translations of the spoken words, improving the quality of the communication. This can make possible face-to-face communication between people who do not share a common language or when at least one person has hearing impairments.
(3) A More Sharable Display
When multiple people use an ordinary display, they all must view it from the same side. This means that everyone is looking in one direction, making it difficult to view people’s facial expressions and body language while viewing the information on the display. By taking advantage of the two-way viewability and wide viewing angle of the transparent display, it is possible to place the display in the center and have participants surround it from all angles. This allows multiple people to see facial expressions and displayed information simultaneously. Furthermore, when sharing information like a route of travel on a map, one user can trace the route with their finger, and the other person can follow along from the other side of the display and absorb the information more easily. In this way, we believe that the display can provide value by connecting people with each other instead of getting in the way like traditional displays.
(4) View the Real and the Virtual Simultaneously
The high level of transparency allows backgrounds and objects to be seen clearly through the display, enabling new uses such as superimposing information on background scenery or real objects. For example, the reading of a wine bottle can be improved through the superimposing of information of grape variety, region, winery, and vintage, and the viewing of a garden can be improved by adding a layer of images like those of falling leaves dancing in the air. We believe these uses will become increasingly important with further advances in Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
*：Transmittance with diffuse light source.