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.
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.
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.
Extracting the LCD screen
To free the LCD screen, the duo had to disconnect cables and frames to remove the rest of the assembly.
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.
At first, the screen wasn't extremely see-through — possibly because of a polarizing filter. But it still worked!
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.
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.
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.
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.