LG Display aims to change the way you commute with its transparent OLED windows

In connection: Train journeys can be monotonous, but at least there is sometimes beautiful scenery to see passing by. Subway commuting is even worse. Sometimes you wonder why they even bother putting windows in subway cars. The folks at LG Display want to turn those useless panes of glass into something more interesting.

At the upcoming transport fair InnoTrans in Berlin, Germany, LG will demonstrate a transparent OLED display. The panels are intended to replace wagon windows. Germany’s leading railway company Deutsche Bahn will also show a new concept train equipped with the OLED transparent windows. The display works like a regular TV or monitor, but appears as a transparent window when not in use.

The displays have already been used in China and Japan. Subways in Beijing and overground trains in Japan have been using the screens since 2020, so there are already many videos of them, like the one below. The reason for the upcoming demo is that LG wants to expand sales to carriers in Europe and North America.

According to LG Display, the panes easily withstand heavy impacts. The OLED screens are reinforced with tempered glass to prevent damage. After all, the night-time subway residents are often not the most respectful when it comes to other people’s property.

Transparency ranges from completely clear to almost completely opaque, depending on what’s being viewed. For example, a public transit map may appear as a largely transparent overlay of the exterior scenery, while an advertisement may completely obscure the passing view.

While Beijing trains primarily display maps and station layouts, there’s no reason companies couldn’t use the windows for other things. Advertising is the way to go here, but LG Display’s press release also notes that they’re used to show local news and the weather.

Though it only mentions subways and trains, LG could expand the market to other mass transit modes like buses. For example, the windows have touchscreen capabilities already built in, so passengers can simply tap their destination on a map to tell the driver where they want to get off, rather than pulling that silly cord to ring the bell for a stop. Touch screens could also provide paid or free gaming entertainment for commuters to while away the time on a trip.

It all sounds pretty cool, and I’m digging the possibilities here, but I’m not sure if the technology is worth the price. While LG hasn’t mentioned pricing, it sure is quite expensive. If you’ve ever been a transit passenger, you know that most people have their heads buried in their phones throughout the journey. So even with advertising, I’m not convinced that the investment would have a reasonable ROI for most transport companies.

https://www.techspot.com/news/96120-lg-display-wants-change-commute-transparent-oled-windows.html LG Display aims to change the way you commute with its transparent OLED windows

Chris Barrese

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