Muxwave Shows A Super-Thin Transparent LED Display You Really Could Call A Screen

November 23, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Way, way in a back corner of the LDI live events technology show – which was running at the same time as DSE last week in Las Vegas – a Shenzhen company called Muxwave was showcasing what it called a transparent LED video wall product.

It wasn’t transparent, but it was at least as transparent as the better-made mesh LED displays on the market. It also wasn’t a hologram, as it suggested … joining the seemingly endless list of display manufacturers calling their products holograms or holographic when they’re not (listen to this podcast …).

It was, however, quite interesting. The other semi-transparent products being marketed these days have a series of horizontal bars that hold the little light emitters and deliver power and signal. They are grids, and noticeable from the rear end. Muxwave doesn’t do that. It has wafer-thin fibreglass strips that hold the LEDs, with circles between each of the LED packages. It is reminiscent of bug screens on residential windows and also looks like a variation on the vinyl wraps you may have sometimes seen on commuter trains and buses – with a series of holes enabling riders to still see out the windows that are covered in the wrap, while the outside view likes the bus or rail car is covered with a moving billboard.

The result is super-thin, very lightweight displays intended for display jobs like mall windows. They are not almost fully transparent like LED on film, such as LG’s product, but they have a tighter pitch and, I gather, they cost way less. In reviewing some of the photos I took, from the rear – when it is on – the rear side does seem very much transparent, but that was in an expo hall that was purposefully dark so that other exhibitors could demo things like specialized lighting and fog machines. When it is off, you see the substrate or whatever you want to call it.

Muxwave describes its product this way:

Muxwave redefines transparent LED with game-changing LED chip & IC integration technology, vertically and horizontally symmetrical P3.91 mm pixel pitch, static scan, and keel-less module design for sharper visual treatment at true 16 bit grayscale performance.

Beats me what some of means, but it is genuinely quite different from competing products. The gray LED wafers are interconnected by very thin patches you have to squint to see, and the patches are not evident from the front. The LED wafers are just 2mm thick and can attached to glass and covered in a film, I understand, or suspended, as they’re not at all heavy. They can be mounted “without a dragon skeleton” (I have no idea what that is), and one unit can be as wide or tall as 2.4 to 3 meters.

Like other transparent LED products, transparency hinges a lot on pitch – with a 6.25mm having 80% while the 3.9mm has 90% transparency.

An industry friend from Toronto – who has used LED window film in retail settings – encouraged me to go over and have a look. He was very excited by it. I was mostly ambivalent when I first saw it, but warmed to it as a good alternative to finer pitch mesh products or LED film that isn’t yet at the kind of pitch. Film also worries ops people, who think as much or more about durability and serviceability, as they do about the transparency rating. Will the film peel or grow discolored with time because of UV light and heat?

I wrote about these guys in September, based on some Linkedin videos that some commenters suggested were CGI fakes. I have seen it up close now and it was same content, not faked. 

The company was a little challenged, as is too often the case, by staffing a US show with people who don’t have the best command of English. Why turn up at a show if there is going to be a persistent language gap? So I didn’t ask many questions and didn’t get much from lurking when others were asking about how they went up, their ruggedness and so on.

Whatever the case, it was interesting to see, and indicative of how LED displays can be super-light and are getting to the point that they are architectural design materials, built into windows and suspended from structures without a lot of engineering.

By comparison, here are a couple of other variations on transparent mesh LED. The first is what you see from the rear of an outside-facing window screen at an Olive Garden on the LV Strip. It was quite good.

The second is a semi-transparent LED display array meant much more for live events – with the physical design as munch about weight. It looks awful from the rear, but on a stage, only the roadies see that.

  1. Marcos Terenzio says:

    Great new product! Really nothing compares to it visually in the market. I’m Dave’s industry friend from Toronto noted in his article. We have been testing the product for several months now and have 2 upcoming potential installs in Canada. Our hope is this product remains reliable over time as it will shake up the transparent display industry. Finer pixel pitch transparent or semi transparent is what every retail brand wants!

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      That’s him! He encouraged me to have a look. I shrugged at first, but the more I looked, the more I saw its distinction from the other stuff out there. Hat tip for doing lengthy testing before deploying!

  2. Denny Yu says:

    Hi Dave and Marcos, this is Denny from Photonic Crystal the inventor of NanoAR Transparent Projection Display. Our technology is based on a totoally different scheme, nano-optic structure(0.2mm ultra-thin) working with projector as the lightsource and provides up to 90% transparency. Let me know if you would like to know more, thanks!

  3. Jackie Walker says:

    Agree – this was super cool and the retail applications are really interesting. The best way I can describe this when unlit from the front side or always from the back side (lit or unlit) is that it is kind of like looking through a screen door. Really really interesting and I’m excited to see how this product does in market.

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