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Samsung Showcases Solar Powered Transparent Touchscreen 46-inch LCD

* Updated : We've added the video below which shows the screen in action *

Samsung Electronics has tweaked its existing transparent LCD technology to make it energy efficient enough to be powered by ambient light.

A working prototype was demoed at CeBIT 2011, one that has a viewable size of 46-inch and supports full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) as well as providing with a full ten finger touchscreen surface.

The panel, which uses vertical alignment display mode, is an improvement on the see-through LCD panel it showed at the SID 2010 in Seattle, in May last year.

A spokesperson for Samsung Electronics told us that there will be commercial models based on the technology soon and mentioned a fridge freezer as being a potential application.

She declined to say whether the innovative solar panel would be rolled out to other similar products.

The fact that Samsung has been able to cut down power consumption by such a margin that it can be powered by ambient light is an impressive feat.

We've also been told that Samsung will be working on bigger size panels; Samsung's biggest LCD panel on the market is a 65-inch model.

Details about the other specifications of the panel - such as power consumption - as well as the position of the backlight unit (which we suspect is positioned at the top of the panel itself) haven't been revealed.

However, the fact that the panel had some niggling problems (broken touch screen) earlier this week showed that the technology might still need some tweaking.

It will be interesting to find out how the panel generally compares to existing traditional models in terms of colour reproduction, refresh rates and price.

One interesting suggestion that surfaced last year was to combined these transparent TVs to create a glass free 3D viewing experience.

Earlier this year, Samsung demoed the its largest transparent OLED display, a 19-inch bad boy, at CES 2011. It is however unlikely that this production prototype will be anything more than a showcase for the next couple of years.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.