UK’s CDS Demos Transparent LCD-Regular LCD 3D Mash-Up

I’ve seen lots of transparent LCDs and no end of mostly crappy glasses-free 3D displays (though the 3D I saw at ISE was quite good), but I’ve not seen a take on three-dimension digital displays that mashed a transparent screen with a regular panel at the back.

UK-based Crystal Display Systems is talking up a concept that has an active background image on a screen at the rear, matched up with a transparent display a few inches in front of that.

The company has done a demo with a super-bright 2,000 nit 47-inch LCD as the rear panel, and a transparent LCD with matched polarization about 180mm (seven inches for the metric-impaired) at the front.

It creates a bit of a parallax 3D view (objects’ positions look different depending on the line of sight).

Interesting, though CDS calls it miraculous, which is umm … well … whatever. The still doesn’t really do the job, so watch the video to get a better sense of what happens here.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes


12+ year-old blog and podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst & bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
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Dave Haynes

1 Comment

  • Bryan Crotaz says:

    And lo, the obvious failure is made clear by a bad choice of fishies. White on LCDs is transparent. Surely then you’d make all your foreground fish nice and dark, or you could (oh no…) make your fish have nice big black and white stripes…

    The problem here is that the background layer provides the back light for the foreground layer, so all the fish at the front are vaguely seethrough and when they swim over the plain background it’s sort of alright (you could correct for that in choosing the foreground colour to be the colour you want minus the background at that point) but when they swim over the rocks and background detail, it all shows through.

    Note that Transparent OLED is no better, just the inverse – colours are added together and now black is transparent. I suppose you could do something hybrid with an LCD layer behind the OLED to create blacks and block out background illumination, but in doing so you’d cut out 1/3 (the fixed polariser) of the light, which sorta makes the transparent bit invalid.

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