Philips: OLED windows in a few years

Philips' transparent OLED
Philips' transparent OLED

Philips Research has shown off a new transparent OLED concept that is totally clear when turned off and then can be fully illuminated.

The theory of having a window that illuminates at night has been a long standing possibility with OLED technology, but only now are we seeing prototypes of the technology that could actually work.

TechRadar spoke to Philips to find out when it would be appearing in our homes, and we were thoroughly dismayed to find out it won't be next week, next month or even later this year.

"It could be a few years before we see this kind of OLED produced commercially," said Hans Driessen of Philips Research. "We're still far away from creating this, as we need to create bigger surfaces, and this is what projects like OLED100 are doing at the moment."


OLED100 is a European collaboration between companies looking to further the development of OLED lighting through their collective research.

However, the 12cm prototype developed by Philips is at least capable of lasting for longer than a few minutes, as the company has been showing it round trade shows for a number of months.

"The problem is that currently OLEDs need to be produced in a clean room, and a single particle could destroy the entire OLED, so we're working on methods to cope with this at the moment,' Driessen added.

Still, it's good to see the technology is progressing to the point where it can at least be shown in prototypes, as the world is still mostly interested in OLED TV and not how it can be used to replace fluorescent lights and even windows.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.