Design

Xiaomi's transparent OLED TV makes projectors pointless

Got an extra $7,200 lying around? Have you considered this transparent TV from Xiaomi?

Xiaomi

To mark its 10th anniversary, Chinese electronics company Xiaomi has unveiled the world's first mass-produced transparent TV screen. It's calling it the Mi TV Lux Transparent Edition. And with "Lux" in the name, you just know it's going to be expensive. But it's also the dream substitute for the complexities that usually come with the other discreet solution for video consumption: the projector.

If you're interested in buying one, it'll run you about $7,200. Jaw-dropping as the price is, it's understandable considering the fact that Xiaomi ditches the conventional back panel for the regular TV sets you see and instead, embeds its processing units in a base stand. Plus, there's that transparent display tech. Early adopters always have to pay a premium, as we've learned with foldables. Hopefully, unlike foldables, Xiaomi's TV is ready for primetime.

All dressed up but staying in to binge Netflix.Xiaomi

It could be wider — The transparent display is 55 inches wide — which is pretty small for a top-end TV — and the 10-bit panel display can deliver 1.07 billion colors. There's also a refresh rate of 120Hz, so at least it'll look good with next-gen consoles like Sony's PS5... though where you'll hide it and its popped-collar case is another story. The base of the TV includes the speakers that support Dolby Atmos, so you're not going to be hiding anything in it.

Xiaomi's also promising a revised user interface for its translucent TV... which we welcome, because a lot of present-day TV interfaces suck, even on sets that will burn a massive hole in your wallet.

While we'd like it to come in 65-inch or 80-inch+ variants, we'll take the consolation prize of the panel only being 5.7 mm thick. Perhaps one day we'll be able to get one installed as a window?

Panther model's own.Xiaomi
Xiaomi scoffs at the Apple Watch's butterfly face.Xiaomi

Not just for your TV shows — Xiaomi's translucent TV could find many applications beyond merely serving as a talking point for the insanely wealthy when they have visitors. It's perfectly suited to commercial uses, too. We can think of plenty of applications in art galleries, shopping malls, offices, museums, and anywhere else a sizeable screen that can pull a vanishing act might be helpful.

The set hits the Chinese market on August 16. There's no indication if or when it'll head to other markets. But that gives us time to save. Or to come to terms with the fact the only Xiaomi products we're ever likely to own are its fitness bands or minimalist walkie talkies.