We've seen a number of cool display technology prototypes pop up at trade shows in the last couple of years, including curved, flexible and transparent screens by all the usual suspects. Today Samsung is not only showing off one of such innovations but also announcing it has actually begun mass production of a 22-inch transparent LCD panel.

Samsung's new transparent displays will be available in two models: a black and white and a color version, both featuring a contrast ratio of 500:1 and resolution of 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA). The black and white model has the highest transparency rate at over 20% and the color model boasts a transparency rate of over 15% according to Samsung. Basically you can look through the panels like glass, and since they rely on ambient light instead of the usual back lighting, the transparent panels consume 90% less electricity than conventional LCD panels.

The company is touting the new panels' potential as advertising tools, which can be applied to show windows and outdoor billboards or used in showcase events. It also says corporations and schools could put the panels to use as an interactive communication device that enables information to be displayed more effectively.

There's no mention of pricing or worldwide availability in the press release. The applications for home and office users seem limited, though, so we assume it will still be a while before transparent panels make it onto our desktops.