Transparent Monitors: A Space-Enhancing Solution

Minimise the visual weight of your computer monitors by setting up a background that gives the monitor the illusion of transparency.

Lifehacker reader Louish Pixel could have made his monitor background images anything at all, but he opted to make them a properly scaled photo of the room behind the monitor. In essence, when he's not working in an application that is full screen, you can see what is behind the monitor (although not in real time, obviously). The effect of the room-as-background is a sense that you can see across the room and the monitors aren't quick so monolithic and wall-like.

To set up your background like this just take a photo from the vantage point of your monitor with a neutral focal length like 50mm and then crop it so that the photo shows the room as you would see it from your desk if the monitor wasn't blocking the view.

Transparent Monitors: A Space Enhancing Solution [Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Pool]


    Looks awesome from one angle!

    i always wanted to do this with a webcam. My desk is in front of a window looking out to a bay. Life Hacker any hints on how to get a webcam working like this.

    It could also help your posture since you would want the images to line up with real life. Great idea! However, on my end, there is nothing exciting about looking at a wall. And I am using 3 Dell 24"s

    Such a good idea. I wonder how you could achieve this effect in real time using a webcam or spycam etc? A monitor company should build this in.

      This already exists in some iphone apps that take advantage of the forward facing camera.

    Fun idea. Except my screens are hard up against a blank wall - not sure this technique will improve any feeling of space in my study...

    Tried this, but couldn't get them lined up properly. Damn...

    Or you could take the back-light and rear of the screen out and get the effect in real-time with parallax.

    Looks awesome in photos, thats about it. Unless you sit at your desk with your head strapped to a static object to stop it from moving, its never gonna line up properly.

    What would be awesome would be two webcams to track your head, and a 3D rendered version of what your room *should* be like based on ambient light. It'd be fiddly, but it'd work.

      Sounds like a fun Kinect hack.

    that is awesome!

    Lighting would be a problem too - I imagine this would only be convincing when the light was the same as when the photo was taken. Unless you got some trickiness altering the brightness of the background images.

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