LG Display has been supplying transparent OLED displays to transport companies in China and Japan since 2020.
Therefore, we can already see it in action within several subway trains in major Chinese cities, including Shenzhen, Fuzhou, and Beijing, as well as within some of Japan’s overground trains.
Seeing the transition between a mostly-transparent subway map and a more traditional screen displaying station layouts feels like we’re stepping ever closer to a world that was teased to us by Sci-Fi franchises like Star Trek.
LG Display is showcasing its “Transparent OLED for Subway Trains” at InnoTrans 2022, the world’s largest trade fair for transport technology. It will feature as a replacement for windows in a concept train from Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national railway company.
The OLED window can be transparent or opaque, depending on its display. LG Display is using the show in Berlin to expand fine panel sales to North American and European transport companies.
The technology uses specialized tempered glass that gives its transparent OLED displays increased strength and durability to withstand vibrations and substantial impacts, according to LG Display, allowing it to replace standard train windows. In addition, the company suggests some practical applications for the tech, such as displaying maps, news, and weather forecasts on screen while transparent, thereby retaining its use as an actual window.
One of the favorite highlights of living outside of a significant city is commuting into them by train, watching the landscape fly past, and appreciating the world outside.
Our biggest concern, however, is advertising. LG Display has already mentioned this as another technology use. Would you be particularly disheartened if commercials replaced the usually grim view we see on subway networks? Potentially, you have more reservations about its application on overground rail systems.
Depending on the frequency of advertising and infotainment, that experience could be lost. Perhaps you may get frustrated by similar ‘innovations’ that replace magnificent windows with electronic displays, but regular windows are fine. It’s OK to let windows be windows.
Nevertheless, LG Display says it’s looking to expand the use of its Transparent OLEDs inside trains and subways across North America, Europe, Japan, and China. So it could be only an issue of time until they come to a public transportation system near you.