Technology

Panasonic Made A TV That's Totally Invisible When It's Not In Use

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This is no magic trick—it's the real-life television of the future. Panasonic revealed a TV at CES in 2016 that is indistinguishable from a clear pane of glass when it's not in use. In a few years, your fancy glass cabinets may double as your big-screen television.

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Now You See It...

Remember when TVs were bulky, static-y, antennae-laden boxes? We've come a long way. The TV that Japanese tech company Panasonic showed off at CES in 2016 is as chic a television as one could get: it's transparent glass. When it's off, you'd never know it wasn't just a pane of glass. When it's in action, the screen barely looks different from whatever you're watching Netflix on now. This isn't Panasonic's first go-around with invisible screens, but it's a big improvement from an earlier version that "was a bit too dim, and required under-shelf lighting to boost the image," Engadget reports. Panasonic traded in the previous LED screen with a new OLED display. (Organic light-emitting diode technology makes it possible for each pixel to light itself rather than being lit from behind). Upgrade!

Related: OLED Screens Are The Future Of TV

If you're not swept away by the aesthetics, you might be by some of the TV's other appealing factors. For one, it's practical—the TV can be slid around like a sliding cabinet door so you can easily access (and see) shelves or storage behind the screen. You can also slide it around to accommodate the height at which viewers are standing or sitting.

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How In The...?

The secret is the fine mesh that is embedded into the glass. Beyond that information, it's a bit of a technological mystery. ScienceAlert reports, "Panasonic describes it as the 'future of display screens' - although as you might expect, the company's staying tight-lipped about the technology behind its transparent TV." Put your credit card away—the Panasonic TV is set to stay in testing for at least three more years before you can get your hands on it. But soon enough, you'll stop asking, "Where did I put the remote?" and start wondering, "Where'd the TV go?"

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See The Panasonic Invisible TV In Action

What Is OLED?

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. LCD screens have a backlight that shines light through liquid crystals. 00:33

  2. OLED screens don't use a backlight, but instead have organic compounds that generate light when an electric current is applied. 00:57

  3. OLED technology facilitates bendable and transparent displays. 01:45

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