Bottomline Interactive (Pty) Ltd

SA firm wows with display technology

Cape Town - A local company was shocked to discover that their transparent display innovation was a world first, despite earlier attempts by major corporations.

"The one thing we weren't sure of before we went to CeBIT was whether it really was a world first. We actually couldn't really believe that no-one else had actually produced this kind of an image yet," Alex Baroutsos, managing director of Bottomline Interactive told News24.

The company built the truto one transparent display that garnered much attention at the prestigious CeBIT technology trade show in Germany.

Baroutsos said that the innovation improved the display technology that allows users to interact with content that appears to be realistic.

"The problem with all of them is that they've all been great but they've lacked one main thing: And that is they've all given up one colour for transparency," he said of previous efforts to create a transparent display.


The main problem with previous displays was that the production of white and black was difficult because of the way the design employed technology.

The result was that colours were often not realistic.

"All we've really done is played around with technologies and software and actually created one display that can produce the entire colour spectrum, but also gives us the flexibility to still control transparency," said Baroutsos.

For those who would wish to have a transparent display on a desktop PC or even mobile phone, Baroutsos had disappointing news.

"This is never going to replace your desktop display: For one, it is a lot bigger than flat panel LCD as well, so it's not for home or work desktop computing."

He said that the technology was more suited to large scale applications where users would be able to view and interact with content.

"There's definitely application for it in museums and expos like the show that we were at. It's not only a crowd puller but also the ability of letting people interact with real-world objects behind them through a digital display that can actually map those visuals on to the physical object as well," said Baroutsos.


Bottomline Interactive, which specialises in software, was focused on creating the display that would add a "wow" factor for retail displays.

"We really saw this as just an additional type of display to actually put in to retail environments. People can now be brought up to, for example, a window to interact with content and at the same time be looking into a store.

"The biggest benefit to having a display like this is that you can have a client like Adidas and they can actually display a shoe in true full colour - blacks, whites, the works - whereas normally it would be very translucent," Baroutsos said.

He was not prepared to comment of whether the technology will be licensed or sold because the prototype was only finalised when they arrived at the show.

"We literally finished the prototype before we even got to CeBIT. We were still writing the software while our prototype unit was being shipped off, so we're that young in the sense that we only knew ourselves that it fully worked when we actually got to the show."

Duncan Alfreds / News24.com