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LG takes Paris Baguette into the future with transparent OLED screens

In Steven Spielberg’s 2002 sci-fi film Minority Report, Tom Cruise gets all the information he needs through big transparent glass screens in front of him.

Fast-forward 20 years and set in Pangyo, the South Korean version of Silicon Valley, people get access to various information on more futuristic transparent glass panels. And that’s in a bakery.

LG Display Co., the world’s top manufacturer of large-size organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, panels, has deployed 55-inch such panels at a Paris Baguette store in Pangyo, near Seoul.

With 38 transparent OLED displays, the largest number ever installed at a single site, LG hopes to turn the store into a futuristic bakery, where information is digitally shown on the lavish transparent screens.

In partnership with Paris Baguette, the country’s top bakery franchise, LG said it is hyping up the overall ambience with the artistic OLEDs used as the store’s entrance signage, a smart partition between the baking station and the store, art wall, and signage on windows.

The flagship store in Pangyo, dubbed the Lab of Paris Baguette, doubles as a research center where new bakery products and services can be tested first, according to food and beverage conglomerate SPC Group, which runs the franchise.

“We told LG that we wanted to turn it into a state-of-the-art bakery store that can provide people with a brand new shopping experience,” said an SPC Group official.

LG Display said its transparent OLED maximizes the advantages of OLED, a self-emissive display that doesn’t require a backlight. It’s transparent enough to replace existing windows, and it is thin, light and vivid.

According to LG and Paris Baguette officials, it cost about 600 million won ($463,070) to launch the futuristic store with advanced OLED displays.

LG Display, the one and only company in the world that can mass produce large-size transparent OLEDs, has been supplying the product to various places such as shopping malls, museums, subways, and as digital art installations.

LG’s crosstown rival, Samsung Display Co., started to develop and produce transparent OLEDs in 2015 but folded up its large-size OELD business a year later.

“We haven’t commercialized transparent OLED products, but we are continuing related research at our R&D center,” said a Samsung Display official.

Korean display makers are shifting their focus to OLED panels, in which they have a competitive edge over Chinese companies in terms of manufacturing technology.

Due to high technological barriers, Chinese panel makers are barely producing OLED panels, while Korean companies dominate the market.

According to Boston Consulting Group, the global transparent OLED market is forecast to grow from 100 billion won this year to 3 trillion won in 2025 and 12 trillion won by 2030.

OLED is highlighted by self-illuminating pixels that do not require a separate light source, allowing manufacturers to produce lightweight, thin and flexible display products, appealing to high-end consumers. KED Global

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