Samsung had plenty of smart TVs that it hoped people would stare eagerly at last week at CES 2012, but it was a display you can gaze right through that was arguably the most exciting. Samsung's Transparent Smart Window, the 22-inch LCD panel can not only show you everything your regular computer display does, but is also clear so that you can look through at what's outside your home.
Samsung actually showed off the transparent display technology back in March 2011, suggesting at the time that it could be used for advertising. Unfortunately that application proved too mundane to catch the public's attention in quite the way Samsung hoped for, hence the return of the tech last week and the far more exciting prospect of your double-glazing telling you your latest Tweets, Facebook friend requests and Google+ Hangouts.
As well as giving internet updates and letting you work on your latest report for work while simultaneously keeping an eye on the kids in the garden, the smart window can create its own virtual privacy shades. Although during the day, it's ambient light that works as the backlight, two traditional edge-lighting sources are also fitted for nighttime use.
Tech-wise, the 22-inch panel runs at 1680 x 1050 resolution and has a 500:1 contrast ratio. Regular LCDs are only 5-percent transparent, whereas Samsung's new panels increase that to 15-20-percent. Unfortunately there's still no word on pricing or domestic availability.