Chinese electronics company Xiaomi is offering what no one asked for in a year of pandemic-led recessions: a $10,000 transparent TV.

Unveiling the luxury TV as part of its 10-year anniversary celebrations, Xiaomi said the Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition will let viewers consume content “previously only seen in science fiction films”.

Promotional pictures show the TV sitting in the middle of extravagant settings displaying images of butterflies, fish and big cats seemingly floating in space while models dressed in long flowing gowns emphasise the capacity for this TV to let a room really come to life.

Of course, most of us tend to put our TV in front of a living room wall.

Xiaomi has shifted all the TV’s I/O, power, and processing from the usual back panel into its thick, rounded stand to preserve the unique look of the 5.7mm display. The company admitted this design choice brought “countless technical challenges”.

Aside from the transparent gimmick, Xiaomi’s 55” OLED TV boasts high static and contrast ratios and a colour spectrum “beyond what the human eye can perceive”.

The TV is also packed with AI features to contextually enhance its picture and sound.

Early footage of the Mi TV LUX taken at Xiaomi’s anniversary event are less impressive, however, as background objects bleed through the image and ambient light make it difficult to easily see what is on the screen.

It also has a 120Hz refresh rate with a 1ms response time makes gaming on the TV “truly lifelike”, according to Xiaomi – but it’s hard to imagine why anybody would choose to complement a next generation gaming console with this transparent TV when larger, more fit-for-purpose panels are available for a fraction of the cost.

Despite its advertised high contrast ratio, the TV might struggle to show the deep blacks and dynamic colour range without the typical back panel, and there are also doubts about what kind of video content would even produce the desired transparent effect.

The TV goes on sale in China this Sunday and is retailing for around $10,000. There are currently no details about an international release.