One of the most used tropes when it comes to sci-fi gadgets has been the use of transparent phones, tablets, and even screens. It actually isn’t science fiction anymore and transparent displays do exist, just not in wide use because of technical and economic reasons. As if trying to prove that it doesn’t have to be so, Xiaomi just launched a special edition of its Mi TV LUX OLED that will make you wish the wall behind it had more character.
Part of the magic is, of course, due to the use of a still-rare Transparent OLED that makes use of material for the lighting and colors. However, the other part of the magic is almost like smoke and mirrors, hiding the non-transparent electronics in the base rather than behind the display. The result, Xiaomi says, is like having a large sheet of glass standing in your living room when the TV is turned off.
When it’s turned on, Xiaomi boasts that the Mi TV LUX OLED Transparent Edition has a high 150000:1 static contrast ratio and support for 93% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. It’s also a smart TV in its own right, running the company’s MIUI user experience retrofitted for TVs. That UX also has an Always-On Display feature that turns the TV into an art piece or a hi-tech smart display.
While the TV itself looks visually stunning and its transparent trick is definitely impressive, the real question is whether it will be usable as a TV. Even with 120Hz refresh rate, 120Hz MEMC tech, and a MediaTek-powered AI engine, there might still be instances when objects behind the transparent display will get in the way of enjoying your videos.
Then again, it’s not a TV you might be able to get your hands on anyway. Launching in China on Sunday, the Xiaomi Mi TV LUX OLED Transparent Edition will cost a fine 49,999 RMB, roughly $7,200. That’s definitely a hefty price to pay for a still unproven large piece of tech in your home.