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BREAKING: Transparent Displays at CES 2024 Hold Tremendous Potential

LG and Samsung wowed CES 2024 attendees with next-gen transparent displays.
LG transparent display
The LG Signature OLED T transparent display debuted at CES 2024. (Image courtesy of LG)

Yes, they resemble imaginary tools you’ve seen in sci-fi films: High-definition images and vibrant colors on a transparent background. 

But the LG Signature OLED T and Samsung MicroLED transparent displays are very real, having debuted at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (January 9-12, in Las Vegas). 

Utilizing Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology, with superior contrast and response time to LCD (albeit more expensive), these new products may offer a range of transformative use cases for restaurants and hotels. 

“Transparent displays are a very cool technology,” says IV Dickson, CIVO, Chief Innovation Officer, SageNet. “Restaurants should benefit from this technology in the coming years for in-window display, in-restaurant communication, and even in the kitchen (with a longer maturity cycle) for order information. Pricing is still a driver in this decision, but as the technology matures and price levels off, I would expect use cases to flourish.”

Self-Service Applications

Among potential use cases for transparent displays, opportunities for a new level of self-service come to mind immediately. “Imagine a large transparent display on the counter utilized for ordering,” says Robert Peterson, AVP North America, Oracle Food & Beverage. “If both sides of the display were touch-enabled, the cashier and/or the guest could interact with the ‘kiosk.’ There may even be a use case for both the cashier and guest to interact simultaneously.” 

Peterson notes that restaurant operators have expressed interest in repurposing the POS terminal for self-ordering. “The transparent display could be the ‘killer app’ our industry has been waiting for.”

Marketing Applications

The opportunities to seamlessly present marketing messaging are enhanced by transparent displays as well. “Restaurant windows could now become a professional graphic and advertising space that could be changed and managed remotely,” says Tom Seeker, Chief Information Officer, Earl Enterprises. “Imagine every restaurant that has plexiglass separating booths or dining areas doubling as a marketing opportunity.”.

“Digital signage that is viewable from two sides could open up many marketing possibilities,” says Peterson. “Digital signage between the queue lines is another possibility. As guests work their way through the serpentine, upsells and promotions would be seen by everyone.”

Streamlining Operations & Customer Journey

“Displaying menu pricing/options on a reimagined sneeze guard at pizzerias, burrito shops, ice cream parlors, etc., would streamline ordering,” notes Peterson. “Today, guests are looking up at the menu board and then looking down at the food options. Keeping the guest focused on the food and displaying pricing on a transparent display would be awesome.”

What Do You Think?

As always, my digital door is open and I would love to hear what you think about transparent displays in restaurants and hotels.

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