MIT develops unique transparent display technology, reportedly cheaper and simple to build

January 23, 2014
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mit-glass

There’s no denying that we are slowly moving towards a major revolution in the way that we interact with the technology (and world) around us. The evidence of this change can be seen just by looking at some of the recent developments in wearable computing from Google Glass to Atheer One. Then there’s the new Open Automotive Alliance that looks to change the way we interact with our automobiles, bringing the power of Android to a whole new level.

Now MIT has demonstrated a unique see-through screen that could eventually affect wearable devices and perhaps even open new doors when it comes to car-based computing. The new heads-up display technology from MIT is a thin plastic coating that may eventually be applied to just about any glass surface including future ‘smart windshields’, window displays and headsets similar to products like Google Glass.

A cheaper see-through display technology means it could become more practical for companies to experiment with ideas like bringing a heads-up display to our windshield, or creating unique wearable solutions.

The MIT researchers behind the tech used nanoparticles in its creation, which are able to selectively scatter light at a projected wavelength, resulting in the creation of color images that are directly projected onto the glass itself. This differs from many other methods which include projecting an image to a user’s eye or using expensive electronics that are built into glass.

The biggest advantage to the MIT method is that it is not only easily done, it also has the potential to be much cheaper. A cheaper see-through display technology means it could become more practical for companies to experiment with ideas like bringing a heads-up display to our windshield, or creating unique wearable solutions.

Can you imagine having maps or other information display directly on the corner of your windshield, or perhaps even smart information appearing for passengers on the side windows of an automobile? Even for glasses and other wearables, the technology could possibly be used to bring down costs.

As you’ll see in the video below, the see-through glass method currently is only being tested using the color blue, though MIT hopes to eventually add full-color image support as well.

What do you think of the new MIT glass technology? How do you feel it compares to exciting solutions — impressed or not? For more details on the project, be sure to visit MIT’s website.

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