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REPORT # NMRN-102 PUBLISHED October 20, 2014
Transparent OLED Displays – 2014
  • OLEDs

    Transparent displays have been around for a very long time in the form of heads-up displays (HUDs) in aircraft and (to a limited extent) in retail displays, markets seen as too tiny by the large display makers and largely left to smaller firms and niche technologies. In the past two or three years, however, NanoMarkets notes that transparent display technology has been edging towards the mainstream. Keenly aware of the maturing liquid-crystal display (LCD) market's slowing growth trajectory, display makers are desperate to add new kinds of functionalities, even (or especially) if it means adopting another technology with higher-growth promise. On the demand side, new applications, such as the widening category of wearable computing devices, seem to call out for transparent displays.

    There are technical complications in making LCDs transparent. Thus the display industry is gradually shifting to organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology, which is easier to turn into transparent displays than the dominant LCD technology.

    This report is based on NanoMarkets’ extensive coverage of transparent display technology, suppliers and end markets. It studies the emergence of transparent OLED displays, technical and marketplace challenges, end-application opportunities, and key companies to watch. Eight-year market projections are provided for these various applications, with both revenue and volume estimatio


    Chapter One: Introduction
    1.1 Background to this Report
    1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
    1.3 Methodology of this Report
    1.4 Plan of this Report

    Chapter Two: The Rise of Transparent Displays
    2.1 What’s Driving Needs for Transparent Displays
    2.2 Three Transparent Display Technologies: LED, EL, and E-paper
    2.3 A Note About E-paper
    2.3.1 Work on Transparent E-paper
    2.4 The Rise of LCDs—But Not for Transparent Displays?
    2.4.1 Backlighting
    2.4.2 Color filters
    2.5 Caveat: The TFT Factor and Metallic Oxides
    2.6 Reasons for Using Transparent TFTs Besides Transparency
    2.7 Another Option: Ditch the Frontplane
    2.8 Opportunities for Technology Providers in the Transparent Display Market
    2.9:  Key Points from this Chapter

    Chapter Three: Enter the Transparent OLED
    3.1 Life Without BLUs and Color Filters
    3.2 Technical Problems to Overcome
    3.3 Encapsulation for OLED Displays: Problems and Solutions
    3.3.1 Encapsulation Techniques
    3.4 Business Problems for Transparent OLEDs to Overcome
    3.5 Ace in the Hole: Alternative Transparent Conductors
    3.5.1 ITO Now, But Not Forever
    3.5.2 New TCs for Transparent OLEDs
    3.5.3 Conductive Polymers in OLEDs

    Chapter Four: End Markets for Transparent OLED Displays
    4.1 Mobile Applications
    4.1.1 Current limitations on fully transparent cell-phone displays
    4.1.2 Examples of Transparent OLED Cell Phones
    4.1.3 The Future of Transparent Displays in Tablets
    4.1.4 Laptops and Notebooks
    4.2 Wearable Computing and OLEDs
    4.2.1 Heads-up/Head-Mounted Displays
    4.2.2 Display Trends in Smart Glasses
    4.2.3 Drawback to OLED Displays in Smart Glasses
    4.2.4 Smart Glasses Companies Associated with OLEDs
    4.2.5 Smart Watches
    4.3 Retail Applications: Smaller Addressable Markets, but More Certain?
    4.3.1 Touch-screen Technology in Transparent Displays
    4.3.2 Key limitations of transparent displays in retail
    4.4 Transparent Displays in Automotive
    4.4.1 In-Windshield Displays
    4.4.2 Dashboard Heads-Up Displays

    Chapter Five: Companies to Watch in Transparent OLED Displays
    5.1 Samsung (South Korea)
    5.1.1 Mobile Device Developments at Samsung
    5.1.2 Smart Glasses Development at Samsung
    5.2 LG (South Korea)
    5.3 Universal Display Corp. (UDC, U.S.)
    5.4 Apple (United States)
    5.5 Google (U.S.)
    5.6 4D Systems (Australia)
    5.7 Futaba Corp. (Japan)
    5.8 Neoview Kolon (South Korea)
    5.9 Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT, Taiwan)

    Chapter Six: Eight-Year Forecasts for Transparent OLED Displays
    6.1 Forecasting Methodology
    6.2 Mobile Computing and Transparent OLED displays
    6.3 Wearable Computing
    6.3.1 Smart Glasses
    6.3.2 Smart Watches
    6.4 Retail and Advertising
    6.5 Automotive
    6.6 Military (HUD/HMD)

    Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
    About the Author

    List of Exhibits:

    Exhibit 2.1: Flexible Display Frontplane Technologies    
    Exhibit 3.1:  Long-Term Issues that ITO Faces in the OLED Market    
    Exhibit 3.2: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for OLED Displays    
    Exhibit 4.1: Prospects for Transparent Laptops    
    Exhibit 4.2: Transparent OLED Displays in Automotive Applications    
    Exhibit 6.1: Eight-Year Forecast for Transparent OLED Cell Phones    
    Exhibit 6.2: Eight-Year Forecast for Transparent OLED Tablets    
    Exhibit 6.3: Eight-Year Forecast for Transparent OLED Laptops    
    Exhibit 6.4: Eight-Year Forecast for Transparent OLED HMDs (Industrial and Niche Applications)    
    Exhibit 6.5: Eight-Year Forecast for Transparent OLED HMDs (Consumer applications)    
    Exhibit 6.6: Eight-Year Forecast for Transparent OLED Smart Watches    
    Exhibit 6.7: Eight-Year Forecast for Total Transparent Wearable Devices Market    
    Exhibit 6.8: Eight-Year Forecast for Transparent OLED Retail Store Displays    
    Exhibit 6.9: Eight-Year Forecast of Transparent OLED Automobile Windshields, Rear-view Mirrors and Dashboards
    Exhibit 6.10: Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent OLED Military HMDs    
    Exhibit 6.11:  Eight-Year Forecasts for Transparent Display Markets by Frontplane Technology


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