YouTube Duo Builds See-Through LCD Computer Screen Like It's the Year 3020

A YouTube duo expertly extracted an LCD screen to create a novel take on the see-through monitor.
Brad Bergan

A pair of ecstatic YouTubers built a DIY see-through computer screen and shared the experience on their channel — bringing the screens from sci-fi shows like Star Trek and other franchises into reality.


YouTuber duo construct DIY see-through screen

A YouTuber duo built a DIY see-through computer screen via the disassembly of a computer monitor. But this means separating the LED/LCD layers from the rest of the monitor assembly.

The LED shines out "pure white light, and it passes through the liquid-crystal display, which colorizes it," said Evan. Disassembling the monitor and then fitting it into a new frame was sure to challenge the DIY engineering duo.

Detaching LED From Frame
The YouTube duo are careful when opening the monitor frame. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

Most of the frame was disposable — save for the electronics on the inside. Using a flat-end screwdriver, Evan haphazardly worked to jimmy the one-piece frame open.

Casing Comes Off
The inside of a computer monitor is a valley. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

The duo were bursting at the seams with ideas: for example, playing video games on opposite sides while maintainning easy eye contact with the other player. Or watching a romantic movie with a partner on the other side of a see-through screen — and laughing at the temptation to meet face to face at the electric middle-ground.

The duo then laid the screen face-down, to remove all of the screens connecting the LCD from the power assembly.

Disconnecting Electronics
The duo disconnects cables to remove the full-frame assembly. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

Extracting the LCD screen

To free the LCD screen, the duo had to disconnect cables and frames to remove the rest of the assembly.

Screens Come Apart
And voila! The LCD panel came off, but it's very fragile. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

After removing all the software, the LCD panel and screen came gently loose. Of course, at the most vulnerable moment for the extracted LCD panel, the duo decided to turn on the screen.

Semi-See-Through Screen
Before reassembly, the duo shone a red light through a powered screen, which served as an early proof-of-concept. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

At first, the screen wasn't extremely see-through — possibly because of a polarizing filter. But it still worked!

Losing Layers
To increase transparency, an 'anti-glare' film was removed. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

Removing the 'anti-glare' film, see-through LCD screen

The team applied damp paper towels for roughly an hour to loosen what they termed an 'anti-glare' film from the screen, which came off nicely.

Fragility Frame
Did we mention LCD screens are fragile? It is, which is why the duo built a DIY wooden frame to hold the now-exposed LCD. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

To preserve the fragile LCD screen, the duo "sandwiched" it between protective sheets. Then a "build montage" ensued, showing the construction of a wooden frame custom-built to hold the fragile screen up.

After installing the electronics into the bottom of the wooden frame, they supplied power and tested the set's see-through capabilities.

The duo applied a rather antiquated mustache in seconds. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

Photo-shopping faces with a see-through screen

Evan kneeled behind the screen while Katelyn moved through several creative new looks for the man. In addition to a digital e-girl upgrade, she also put spider tattoos on his face. But the most iconic is probably the throwback to the sophisticated heights of the handlebar mustache.

E-Girl Update
The coming of the age of the bearded e-girl. Source: EvanandKatelyn / YouTube

While see-through screens aren't exactly new, they've only recently begun to show up in the product lines of major companies, like Samsung, LG, and Prodisplay (although Samsung has discontinued its line).

Facebook's augmented reality, future see-through screens

The most significant developments in see-through screens are in augmented reality. Facebook's Project Aria — augmented reality glasses capable of replacing smartphones — is working with the UK manufacturer Plessy to design and adapt microLED displays for mixed reality performance.

Additionally, Facebook's forthcoming augmented reality glasses may include novel features — like enhancing dim background noises, or muting unwanted noise to focus on one speaker.

Ultimately, only experienced engineers should try their hand at disassembling electrical equipment like computer monitors. And, while the YouTube duo succeeded in creating their dream see-through screen, it's extremely unlikely anything of the kind will show up on electronics store shelves (or online) for several years.

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