TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
A hot potato: Does raising your hand at a TV's webcam to buy an on-screen item using a built-in NFC payment reader sound like a Black Mirror-style dystopian nightmare? Well, it's real. But at least the television itself is wireless and battery-powered, which sounds pretty impressive.
Displace will be demoing its TVs at CES in January, offering attendees a look at the sets that don't require wires, only a base unit that's plugged in nearby.
The Displace Flex, a 55-inch 4K OLED TV, and the 27-inch 4K OLED Displace Mini use hot-swappable batteries, each lasting around a month. Furthermore, they don't need traditional wall mounts to attach them to a vertical surface; they use vacuum suction mounts. Using such a method to attach an expensive 55-inch OLED to a wall sounds worrying, but the sets use a zip line to gently lower themselves to the floor if they sense an unstable grip – like someone hitting said wall with a hammer – or a low battery.
Displace says this suction system allows several TVs to be snapped together to create massive 110-inch or even 220-inch displays. Its products are also gesture-controlled, in addition to Touch and Voice, which leads to what sounds like less-welcome elements.
Displace says that another feature of its TVs is their ability to use the integrated 4K webcams to identify when a viewer raises their hand. This causes whatever is playing on-screen to pause as the computer vision searches for items that might be for sale. Once a product is identified, viewers "drag and drop" it into the global Displace Shopping Cart.
Be careful not to cheer too much - you might buy something
The system works with anything being shown on-screen – TV shows, movies, commercials – and even if a specific item isn't found, the system can search for something similar for sale from a selection of online retailers.
The final piece of tech is Displace Payments. Instead of typing in payment details as you normally would, the TV has a built-in NFC payment readers, so viewers can just tap their phone or smartwatch on the set to make a payment. They can also pay from within the Displace app.
There are obviously a lot of privacy and security questions surrounding the TVs. Displace says the integrated cameras can be folded into the televisions using the mechanical lock, and the NFC process is said to be "fully secure."
"Unlike the non-scalable process of humans tagging items in a movie or show or sending viewers off to different sites that require entering passwords and credit card info, Displace delivers an automated, ambient, seamless shopping experience. It offers viewers true interactivity with ads and product placements," Displace's announcement said.
Something else that might deter potential buyers is the price. The 55-inch Displace Flex is priced at $5,599, while the 27-inch Displace Mini is $2,499 – expensive for OLEDs of that size. They can be ordered starting January 9, though shipping isn't expected before the end of 2024.