That sound you just heard was the internet exploding as news of Samsung's OLED display was unveiled to the public. The display seems like it popped out of Minority Report and comes in both the clear and mirrored variety. It has the ability to recognize gestures and, when teamed up with Intel's Real Sense technology, can sense distance and interact with the viewer. Samsung's billed the devices mostly as advertising devices, used to allow customers to try on clothes in the reflective displays or target ads to specific demographics using recognition platforms, but the potential for these displays is staggering, especially if they eventually come at a consumer-friendly pricepoint. The Fahrenheit 451 future of interactive full-wall living room displays is almost here.
The release of Samsung's display comes at an appropriate time, especially as the wearables market ramps up. While scaling the displays up (for the sides of buildings or as massive billboards) is tantalizing, scaling them down is equally intriguing: a see-through watch that activates when the wrist is raised, for example, or rearview mirrors that interact with the driver. OLED technology doesn't require a backlight and is relatively energy efficient. Samsung says the display "has a substantially higher color gamut (100 percent vs. around 70 percent of NTSC), sharply increased transmittance (45 percent vs. around 10 percent)" than typical LCD screens, making them inexpensive to operate while being beautifully vibrant.
Yes, retailers will oggle over the displays for their ability to reel in shoppers, but the truly revolutionary aspects lie in their technological integration. And in our ability to pretend to be space captains while using them.