Planar Systems LookThru LCDs

Earlier today, I was trying to solve a problem with projectors that we had in math class – but that’s not what this post is about. Time for google-fu!

(*I google away*)

While researching, I came across this video: Yes, that’s right. It’s a fridge with a full color LCD — with transparency acting like another ‘color’. It even  appears that transparency can even be controlled for wavelength (i.e. block out red). It appears that Planar has already put quite a bit of thought into this — They have a whole series of concept videos:

Retail at a Glance

Infographic Hospitality V1

LookThru Display Box

The possibilities are endless! HUDs, windows, doors with adjustable degrees of privacy, windows that turn black to block light in warm climates……..pretty much anywhere a display(or a pane of glass) can be mounted!

The year is 2023. You’re out on a Saturday night for a bite to eat. You walk into the new, popular restaurant. The hostess greets you, the glass wall behind her transitions from a concrete grey to translucent, a single clear spot highlighting the first available table for two, and a large block of metro-style text slides into view to prompt you that the highlighted table is for you.

The table senses that the two of you have sat down, loads some basic identification info, and makes a few educated guesses – a man and a woman, in their 20s, out on a Saturday night – maybe they’re a couple. They place their phones on the table, which communicates and charges wirelessly. If they have opted in, the table now knows that they are in fact, a couple. The table then transitions from transparent to matté, and greets them. Behind the scenes, it is studying their eating habits, and their food preferences. Then, it displays a (very slightly)customized menu, with a special section of possible romantic items, and a selection of wines. Upon choosing their order, the table randomly suggests a side-order for a reduced price. The table returns to its transparent state, and the couple chat while waiting for their dinner.

When their order reaches a stage of completion(i.e. received by the cook, on the grill, waiting for waiter’s pickup) the table transitions to matte, and lets the couple know.  As the drain their glasses, a built in fluid level sensor keeps the table updated – so the table can suggest a refill just as the glass empties. A waiter brings their food, and they enjoy the night.

Finally, the table displays a review of their order, and offers to pay through their phone. If they agree,  the phone authenticates with a credit card company/bank over an information-theoretically secure connection, and in the blink of an eye, they’re done. The couple happily leaves, headed for home.

The year is 2023. Farms have shrunk in size, able to feed just as many, but with far greater efficiency. Along with genetic modification, artificial soil, and nanotechnology, farms now have greenhouses with precision-controlled environments. This is possible because they are not made simply of glass, but LCDs! The light let in to the greenhouse can be Pulse-Width Modulated. As the sun goes down, light can even be reflected by side walls of the greenhouse, increasing available sunlight. Sensitive plants, imported from distant climates, and grown for scientific purposes, now require far less energy – the light is all natural.

Oh!!! Did I mention that these things are touch enabled?? Hell, it actually looks like something from a Microsoft Future Vision video

Other usages of these LCDs that I envision are as tanning salons, vehicular and personal HUDs, and windows – I imagine they could be tweaked to block different wavelengths of light, why would they be limited to the visible portion? I will post more detailed write-ups thereon (and concept art therefor) when I have the chance.

~ by Alexander Riccio on February 25, 2013.

2 Responses to “Planar Systems LookThru LCDs”

  1. […] I finally finished my post on Planar Systems LookThru LCDs, and gave a tiny glimpse of my vision […]


  2. Ooh, lookie here:


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