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Lenovo’s Project Crystal is the world’s first laptop with a transparent microLED display

It’s not often you encounter a device that looks like it came straight out of a movie set. But Lenovo’s Project Crystal, supposedly the world’s first laptop with a transparent microLED display, is an example of sci-fi come to life.

Currently there are no plans to turn Project Crystal into a retail product. Instead Lenovo’s latest concept device was commissioned by its ThinkPad division to explore the potential of transparent microLED panels and AI integration. The most obvious use case would be sharing info somewhere, like a doctor’s office or a hotel desk. Instead of needing to flip a screen around, you could simply reverse the display via software, allowing anyone on the other side to see it while getting an in-depth explanation.

When combined with the camera built into the rear of the system, Lenovo says there could be possible AR applications. One example would be to use the camera to identify an object, similar to Google Lens. And with its transparent display, it should be possible to take that idea a step further by overlaying a diagram or schematic on top of the object for things like troubleshooting or repair.

But the best thing about Project Crystal, is that Lenovo bothered making it at all. Currently, even standard microLED displays are extremely expensive with those panels typically reserved for cutting-edge gadgets like Samsung’s The Wall or Apple’s Vision Pro. And, see-through versions have only been seen as concepts like on the transparent microLED TV Samsung showed off a couple of months ago at CES 2024.

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