A long-awaited followup on transparent computer monitors

Hacker
Glass computer and keyboard; stylish model looks like he’s up to something.

About 15 years ago, I poked fun at the then-mini-trend of stylish models posing in front of transparent computer monitors, often with glass, see-through keyboards on glass desks. Back in the day, there was no such thing as see-through comptuer monitors, so these overly-stylized depictions could have been used to open up the topic of hacking in some vaguely lavish setting; or it could have just as easily been used to sell the clothes, hairstyles and makeup of the models depicted.

Stumbling on my old article on a random browse made me search again for more such depictions. Well, apparently, glass monitors appear to be closer to reality than they were in the past.

Maybe these go as far back as 2011. Let’s see…

Monitor looks like it's see-through all right...
Monitor on this laptop looks like it’s see-through all right… Clicking on this image leads to the original blog article.
Really transparent
OK … so now you’re just fucking with me.

Turns out, the only trick here was to remove the laptop from the desk, take an image, then import it as their desktop, carefully lining up the monitor with the real background behind the laptop.

Virtual see-through monitor
So, they are not necessarily made of glass, and are definitely not see-through. Got it.

A year later, in 2012, a person narrating on a YouTube channel called The Panin Group, claimed to have patented a glass which can pick up light rays and have a see-through effect in a more genuine way:

See-through-monitor
See-through-monitor still requires a rear projector, which would appear to leave the user staring into a light beam. Looks kind of OK, but no cigar yet.
A see-through monitor used as an office partition
Oh, wait.

The image immediately above is from a website called the “OLED Store” (link is embedded in the image above, natch). Right now, they appear to be selling big versions of actual transparent monitors for office partitions and kiosks. This is apparently a recent phenomenon, with LG releasing its transparent OLED monitors for retail sale only since April of 2023. Transparent OLEDs are already being used on the windows of some subways in China and LRTs in Japan, enabling passengers to see computer images as well as look outside. In the United States, The Smithsonian Museum has been using a 55″ transparent OLED display for one of its exhibits since December of 2021.

A 55″ transparent OLED monitor by Planar currently retails on E-Bay for $16,000.00. But for that low price, you only get a used one. And yes, it is possible to get a similar QianZi knockoff monitor new for a mere $10,086 from Amazon. Both monitors only have 1080p (1K) resolution, and are not sold as TV or computer monitors; rather they are classified as signage.  LG was supposed to have an actual television out this month, but the best I could find was from one Canadian retailer who is selling signage with an MSRP of $30,190. This is from a Waterloo, Ontario based company called PC-Canada. They are currently on sale there at a steal for $27,120. Get ’em while they’re hot!

The only use case I can imagine for the 55″ LG monitor is for some rich business tycoon to check his stock report while watching the seagulls fly by his window. This photo is from the LG website (clicking on the image gets you to the LG website). LG is currently selling these monitors as “signage”, meaning public signs with changing messaging, or kiosks.

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Crappy Album Covers #63 — The Search for Inner Peace

Announcement: This series of Crappy Album Covers will be sent out every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from now on, and it will be roughly at 6 PM, EDT/EST. Just so everyone knows what is going on. For reference, I left a permanent note on the “About” page.

album-cover-crap-79_ppot_com1 Yes. Nothing says “I love my life” more than being dunked in a pool of water and looking like a drowned rat. Jim Post’s 1978 folk recording appears to be his third album from a recording career that began in 1973. Jim has played Mark Twain a number of times for various plays, recordings, and videos, and has done children’s albums. He has also been written up in The Smithsonian.
album-cover-crap-82_vinylcoversfreefr_00237 I’m OK, You’re OK; I’m alright; you’re alright. We are at one with the world. This 1982 British single from Young Steve and The Afternoon Boys is the only single I know of whose flip side is music from a different artist: “Oh Damien” by a group called Damien And The Social Workers.The Single Covers Archive (UK) lists this record as “novelty”. In ’82, this single reached as high as #40 on the singles chart.
album-cover-crap-80_normal_vinylcoversfreefr_00251 If you think Gary Wilson looks like a dork with those dark glasses, then it is because you don’t really know him. For awhile during the early disco era, Wilson led a band called “Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates”.

“You Think You Really Know Me” is a 2002 re-release recorded in Wilson’s basement on a TEAC 2340 4-track 7″ reel-to-reel prior to its initial release in 1977. There was some effort trying to find him to give the go-ahead to re-release the LP throughout the ’90s and into the early part of the 00’s. This is because there is indeed a cult following of fans that are quite fascinated by Wilson’s music. He also was once written up in the New York Times.

For those interested in Gary Wilson and want to have some idea of the cult following he had, below is a video, with links to a variety of others:

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