Projecting an image is simple - if the surface you're projecting it on is white and flat and in a dark room. However, projecting an image onto a transparent surface is much more complicated and expensive. But a research team at MIT has developed a new and affordable transparent display system that may one day change the way we look at store windows and windshields.
The secret to MIT’s breakthrough display is a coating of silver nanoparticles on top of a thin transparent surface. These nanoparticles can identify certain wavelengths and colors, while letting the rest of the information from the projector pass through.
This technology would allow stores to project images and information onto their windows in real time. Subway trains could post minute-to-minute service changes and delays, and your car would be able to display information right on the windshield.
As opposed to other transparent displays, which are embedded with expensive electronics, this new technology has to potential to be much less expensive than other costly displays like Google Glass. Installing it would be as simple as tinting a window, and cheap enough to implement on a wide scale.
Right now the project is still in the proof-of-concept phase and can only project blue, but the team believe it’s possible to create a full-color display using the same technique.