Transparent Displays Are Coming

We’ve seen transparent displays in plenty of experience concept videos and product designs over the years. But now, products and technologies on display at this year’s CES suggest that truly transparent displays will be a commercial reality within the next couple years.

Lumus showed off a development kit for creating products around their 720p wearable display lenses: Story at Engadget

Vuzix has working prototypes of their Smart Glasses technology: Story also at Engadget

Samsung continues to show off their extremely impressive “Smart Window”: Story at SlashGear

The Vuzix and Lumus technologies work by projecting a video feed in to the edge of a piece of glass. That glass then has reflectors (Lumus uses a hologram) embedded in the glass to reflect light in to the viewer’s eye. I’m not sure how the Samsung Smart Window works, but it appears to be an adaptation of traditional LCD display technology, without a reflective or backlight backing.

Dual Screen Lenovo Thinkpad

Lenovo Thinkpad W700ds


I’ve been wondering when this was going to happen.

I’ve had a concept like this in my head for a while (why haven’t I sketched the ideas out before now?) and I believe I’ve seen a few concept designs along these lines, but Lenovo has finally brought a dual screen laptop to production. I’m not talking about a small Microsoft Sideshow enabled screen, but something that could actually hold something useful like a webpage, grid of thumbnails in Lightroom, or application pallets.

The Lenovo Thinkpad W700ds (any gamer will see the ds as an obvious acronym) takes a 17″ Thinkpad and adds a 10.6″ vertically oriented screen on to the side. I’m assuming the screen slides out from a pocket in the lid. It can be tilted up to 30º.

As an addition to the W700 model line, the W700ds boast other features that are rare on a laptop, like the Wacom tablet built into the palm rest. With built in color calibration hardware and a screen that Lenovo claims holds 72% of the AdobeRGB color gamut, the machine is aimed squarely at the professional photography crowd. The $3,600 starting price also says “pro,” while the 2 inch thickness and 11 pound weight scream “desktop replacement.” With quad cores and a workstation Nvidia Quadro graphics card, I bet it’s a dream to work on. I hope we see more laptop designs embrace the concept of useful secondary screens.