Science Matters →

What's the Next Big Television Upgrade?

TV set

Since the late 1920′s television has become a more common part of our lives. Currently, there are nearly 2 billion TV sets in use on our planet. From a large cathode ray unit to the slick mounted internet friendly flat screen, the television has undergone some pretty fantastic upgrades. This prompts the next question, what’s the next big television upgrade? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.

First, let’s do a quick stroll through TV history. In 1928 the first hand cranked tv prototype was brought into select markets. By the 40′s and 50′s interest in TV had grown significantly which also ushered in many new technological updates. Those updates would be the foundation of TV technology for quite a long time until the late 1990′s when the flat screen start to emerge. Here we are, nearly three decades later with similar devices. Well, the folks at Panasonic have some news that is shaking up the TV technology world.

At a recent Consumer Electronics Show in Japan the world was introduced to the brand new Panasonic television, though many did not even see it initially. Why? Because, when the TV is not on it looks and acts just like a glass panel in your living room cabinet. This glass is tinted just enough to be able to hold the images that are displayed when activated but still can serve as a glass panel for when you’re done watching Stranger Things or whatever you’re into.

But wait, there’s more. This television is also a smart device able to connect to tablets and phones, have access to the web, can be used to build playlists, make photo slide shows, and get weather updates too. The goal here is to integrate many existing technologies into this to allow for this pane of glass to become a hub of information and productivity in the household.

Not only does this slick new design look futuristic, but it also works in an equally impressive way. The image is actually projected from behind the TV and captured on the glass. For now, all of the mechanics are built into the wooden frame which acts as the back of the cabinet. The pane of glass that holds the image totally works as a TV screen and as a sliding door to your possessions in the cabinet. As of now, this television’s quality is the same as current HD 1080p formats, but the goal is to get it up to 4K before releasing it to the public. The expected time frame for this is about two to three years from now.

While this is a major step forward in TV technology, this could also be the start of a whole new way of using tables, smart phones, and other devices that have a screen. One technological advance can easily impact many other industries, so who knows what amazing things could be headed our way if this see-through TV catches on.

For now, more testing and development is needed before this product can be sent out into the market place. However, once these TVs become a part of the global retail dialogue we’ll see more upgrades made to this household mainstay. Not only does technology builds upon itself it also integrates other technologies in along the way. Regardless, this is a huge milestone for the tv technology industry and is already being considered...clearly brilliant!