LG has started actively marketing the transparent LED film, for windows and architectural glass, it has been demonstrating at trade shows for the last couple of years.
The film is only 1.5mm thick (about the thickness of a dime coin) and pushes more than 1,000 nits of brightness in each 668×480 mm panel. Each of those panels has 560 LED pixels set at 24mm pitch. The early version of this digital signage product had one color, but the current version does 1.7 million, so, ummm, better!
The film can display pictures, animation and videos in various color combinations, and can install on existing glass surfaces, adhering to it.
“The LG Transparent Color LED film and Flexible Open-Frame OLED display solutions demonstrate how LG continues to evolve the digital signage industry with impact and versatility,” explains Mike Della Mora, Sales Director, Commercial Display Division, LG Electronics Canada. “These stunning display solutions bring virtually any space to life though the unique flexibility in configuration and installation.”
The display film has flex, so it can go on a curved surface like a balcony railing, supporting up to 1,100R curvature (which will mean something to nerds). It can also be cut to size.
LG Canada is putting the tech in front of designers attending the Interior Design Show, Thursday and Friday in Toronto.
I think this film has possibilities, though I would like it to have a tighter pixel pitch. Right now, at 24mm, it is best suited for big ambient visuals but can’t really deliver information or support media campaigns that go much beyond branding.
The challenge is embedding the LED lights and running enough power through the ultra-fine wires to each, without making the film look like a mesh and losing the magic, so to speak, of the transparency. More pixels, less transparency.
The metal mesh screens you are starting to see in windows (even the Dairy Queen in south Halifax, NS has one in a drive-thru window) look great from outside, but look like hell from the back. It looks like a cage.
There is a Chinese manufacturer – Tiege – that has adhesive film product with 4mm pitch, but the transparency is 60%, so there’s a bit of a compromise.
The LG film has the nits to work in bright spaces like malls and airports, but I am not sure I would put this in windows that get direct sunlight. I think the heat-load, day after day, on that film might degrade it with time. Sunlight on most kinds of displays is harsh.
I assume LG will have this in its booth at ISE in, wow, less than three weeks. It was there the last two years. No pricing supplied.