Wall of Shame: January 2018

Case file: 2017-12-15 Transparency Fail

About three years ago transparent displays became available in the digital signage channels. During that time there was considerable innovation in applications for these displays, which were essentially the LCD or LED glass from a standard display panel, without the backlight attached. This allowed the screens to be “transparent” when they showed white and ranging from semi-transparent to somewhat opaque when colours are generated.

The downside to the technology, particularly in the early stages, was the amount of light required behind them to show the colours well and how to effectively mount them.

This innovative application is the only video wall I have seen using transparent displays, specifically featured on a mall-facing display window in a high-traffic indoor retail space. I imagine this install was technically challenging to implement, and likely not inexpensive in materials.

This fails at the player/content part of the equation, and I have slowed the video to make the issue more noticeable.

I have two issues with this display. The first issue is that the lack of synchronization with the content detracts from the overall effect. The second is that the content obscures the product more than it promotes it, which I believe detracts from the message.

Cutting edge technology used in innovative ways can be derailed by getting some of the “easy” stuff (content playback) wrong.


I was unable to avoid the branding here in order to outline the issue in question. Please note that this video was shot by myself and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Andrew Pease Founder of By Jove! Consulting Corp., a technical guru of many hats who has an insatiable curiosity for finding out how to make it work. Part time gardener and sometimes artist, I bring all my experience to all the challenges I face. I am also an all around nice guy!