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Xiaomi Just Released a Completely Transparent TV, and Nobody Knows Why

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Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi’s latest product is a clear, see-through TV. People are asking questions, the most pressing being, “is this really necessary?”

The Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition was the third product to drop during Xiaomi’s 10-year anniversary launch event on Tuesday. An official blog post describes it as the world’s first mass-produced transparent TV, which looks like “a mere glass display” when turned off.

During the official launch event, CEO Lei Jun demonstrated the TV’s transparent effect by letting a digital butterfly appear to land on his hand, to applause from the audience.

Xiaomi transparent TV - RADII China

source: Xiaomi Weibo account

The characteristic feature, a completely see-through OLED screen, has technically been done before — though not on a consumer level. The TV also reportedly comes with AI features that will allow it to detect and choose audio modes that best suit the viewer.

The flashy promotion has garnered the hashtag #XiaomiTransparentTV 290 million hits on Weibo. Netizens echoed the sentiment of most tech reviewers in asking whether the TV would be worth the hype. Quipped one netizen, “I spent 50,000 yuan on a TV, just to watch a butterfly?”

Xiaomi TV LUX

Image from Xiaomi’s official blog

The promotion photos and blog post describe the TV to be a revolutionary product of the future. However, it’s unclear exactly what kind of turning point Xiaomi intends for this to be. According to Gizmodo’s Victoria Song, the TV has identical specs to LG’s transparent OLED 55EW5F-A, which is decidedly a signage product, not a consumer one.

Furthermore, the blog post describes the product as “not a TV, but an art piece” that’s “perfect not only for homes, but also for galleries, museums, shopping malls, and theaters.”

So is the Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition a revolutionary product for people’s homes, or a glorified digital mall sign? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, the TV is priced at 49,999 RMB (7,207 USD), and is set to go on sale starting August 16th in China.

Related:

How Xiaomi Went From “Apple Copycat” to $100 Billion IPO Innovator

Allison Jiang
    Allison Jiang is a Baltimore-based writer interested in the intersection of art and culture. She is passionate about big dogs, social justice, and stand-up comedy, among other things.