x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Transparent phone prototype is getting closer

Posted: , by Michael H.

Tags :

Transparent phone prototype is getting closer
It's been the dream for years and years: transparent computer displays, and transparent phones. We've seen them over and over in sci-fi, and we've seen plenty of device render concepts, but this is the first real prototype that we've seen in real life. The key to it is the transparent display that has been developed by Taiwan-based Polytron Technologies. We first saw the display tech from Polytron a couple weeks ago, but we're getting more info on it, and more importantly video.

As you can see in the video below, all they have so far is a very very early prototype, almost just a proof-of-concept, but the team expects to have a more fully functioning prototype with working software by the end of the year. You'll also notice that the device isn't 100% transparent, because some components - the battery, SD card, and microphones - simply can't be made transparent right now. Still, it's a pretty cool start. 

The display is what Polytron calls Switchable Glass technology, which is a conductive OLED. When the phone is powered off, the liquid crystal molecules in the display are a cloudy white, but when you turn on the juice (electricity running through transparent wires), the liquid crystal molecules realign to form text, icons, etc.

There is no word on when the displays will go into production, but Polytron general manager Sam Yu says it will be "near the end of 2013". Yu also said that Polytron is in serious discussions with "major smartphone makers" across the US, Europe, Japan, and South Korea to bring the display to market.

  • Options

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:21 27

1. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)

Whats the point? So people can see everything I'm doing? No thank you.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 19:25 9

16. phljcnth (Posts: 485; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

So you can now text while driving. Lol

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 19:27 10

17. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)

Voice to text is better.

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 01:31 5

25. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 704; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)

becareful watching p*rn

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 03:00 2

27. Airforce (Posts: 68; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)

I really want to see how i can operate my phone under the rays of the sun

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 03:04 5

28. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

I want a black one... ;)

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 03:06 10

29. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1522; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)

what about using the technology in the screen of the car, so you can see a virtual path over the current road telling you which lane you should be in and where to take the next turn?
Just an example.

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 16:39 2

47. tusharkn (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)

That's cool and also could be implemented as heads up display for bike rider on their helmet visor. Would really help in bike accidents cause by distractions

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 16:33

46. tusharkn (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)

Concept's intriguing but those should just better remain concept, can't imagine showing off all my photos, videos(aaahhem...porno) and my passwords to whole world.
That guy showing off in videos wears a Samsung T-shirt could it a sign of that sammy is coming up with something like that be sooner

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:23 1

2. joey18 (Posts: 589; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)

i'm first

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:29 18

4. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

No you not.


posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:27 17

3. Android4u (Posts: 456; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)

Can someone tell me the purpose of a transparent phone? I'm yet to think of one

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 19:06 10

13. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 479; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

LOL - Maybe this might put an end to those stories of people falling into holes or walking into light poles while texting?

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 16:41

48. tusharkn (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)

Yeah I've got one if anyone wants to make a personal held device as for public show off

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:29 4

5. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

I know that for example transparent display may be useful when embedded in a car's windshield and similar, but I don't see idea of transparent phone...

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:33 9

6. dynamo.one (Posts: 63; Member since: 14 Feb 2013)

seriously? what if i forget the phone in somewhere and i can't find it...

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:44 8

7. Lauticol (Posts: 338; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)

You put a case to the phone and it looses all it's atraction

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 23:36

41. laheelahee (Posts: 213; Member since: 09 Apr 2012)

exactly what i was thinking...

& w/o a case, what if you step on it?

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:44 7

8. rajagopalan.k (Posts: 35; Member since: 17 Dec 2012)

sooooooooo ugly

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:45 3

9. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

yeah right.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:51 8

10. phil2n (Posts: 487; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

no im going to buy a transparent phone.. i can't watch porn on that way.. LOL

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:53 4

11. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)

LG crystal already tried this concept. Nothing new here lol

posted on 23 Feb 2013, 14:22

50. nogetch (Posts: 11; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)

Ahem Ahem !!
Sony Ericsson pureness !! :)

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 18:59 3

12. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

Ok good so now one can see through their ears while talking or the other guy could see your ear canal :D :D

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 19:07

14. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

It's like a waterproof phone, what's the practical use of this other than making the geek leak?

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 19:14 3

15. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

I disagree about waterproof phone.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 20:25 3

22. JonBjSig (Posts: 176; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Waterproof phone = Your phone won't die when doused.
Transparent phone = You can see through your phone.
One is useful, the other is not, quite the opposite in my opinion.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 19:47

18. Tux_Alan (Posts: 74; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)

You see a transparent phone and I see HUDs for all sorts of applications from winshields to glasses, mirrors and so on..!

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 19:59 2

19. mydi.maus (unregistered)

how is a battery watch powering a 4.3 inch phone?.....hmmm

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 20:11 2

20. VJo003 (Posts: 357; Member since: 11 Mar 2012)

Applaud the effort.... Use is a secondary concept.
Hope to see more innovations in this 1080p & quadcore mad race.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 20:18

21. speckledapple (Posts: 892; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

It will really be something when the components also become transparent or mimic what we want it to. that alone will be awesome.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 21:45 1

23. roscuthiii (Posts: 2217; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)

Hate to see the screen visibility on a bright day...

I didn't get to see the video with sound, but are we sure this isn't just a piece of glass with a hologram in it like a novelty decoration at a mall kiosk?

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 20:03

40. jroc74 (Posts: 6005; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Yea...this is one of the few recent attempts at innovation I that I think isnt a good idea.

Viewing these phone outside now is bad enough. A transparent phone?

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 22:44

24. MEeee (Posts: 352; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Samsung Transparent OLED Screen Notebook at CES 2010


posted on 17 Feb 2013, 18:14 1

45. rgxVOiD (Posts: 440; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)

Its OLED Associations display for Samsung notebook, not Samsung's transparent OLED display

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 01:39 1

26. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Now that's pointless

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 03:06 2

30. Fuego84 (Posts: 344; Member since: 13 May 2012)

Transparent smartphone, right like we need such a thing. I think there will be a contrast problem, plus the display won't be transparent once you add a wallpaper or will it be a transparent wallpaper? Lol

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 04:26

31. someones4 (Posts: 625; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)

Might be useful for Google Glass. Or to display information on a car windshield like in the BMW in Mission Impossible 4

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 04:28

32. jameshoe (unregistered)

0101010101010101010101010.....Wow, it is transparent phone prototype! What so funny?

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 04:39

33. FireDragon (Posts: 114; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)

Learn to appreciate a ground-breaking dream-technology in the making to contribute something positive to it.

Yes, maybe we cannot see the practical use of this tech as smartphone, but here another important thing to understand that maybe they demo small size of something larger for (as many people already said) car's screen. Or home window.

Also remember this could work one way so person behind the handset wouldn't see what you are doing, hence privacy protected. Feel free to watch all the porn you like. Point your set to a girl infront of you and see her in anything you like her to be in (or without anything) without her knowing. Lol.

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 05:44 2

34. aahmed215 (Posts: 165; Member since: 18 Jun 2012)

I don't want a see through smartphone. I can see it's usefulness on windows and other appliances.

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 06:26 1

35. timtimity (Posts: 196; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)

I think it's got some useful applications like car windscreens (as mentioned earlier), but I can't see it working that well for phones. if you're writing or reading a text will you actually be able to see it clearly? Surely you need a contrasting, plain background behind the text.

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 10:46

37. jmonteiro829 (Posts: 186; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)

I think everyone needs and should be able to view their hand when using their see through smartphone!

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 12:08

38. GG_SHAH (Posts: 19; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)

then there will be less difference left b/w glass and phones :P

posted on 16 Feb 2013, 12:49

39. jrparnell1977 (Posts: 7; Member since: 29 Jan 2013)

As long as WendyGarret isn't posting, i don't give a damn! Ha ha.

posted on 17 Feb 2013, 02:32

42. lukasound (Posts: 152; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

Old news... Already seen on CSI: Miami.
Producers should sue them! Apple style.

posted on 17 Feb 2013, 14:49

43. ankur9711 (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)

It looks promising, but how will you see the display if it's hard to see while indoors? Current displays are hard enough to see outdoors for many phones.

posted on 17 Feb 2013, 16:35

44. onlyman1980 (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Aug 2012)

totally sucks :(

posted on 23 Feb 2013, 10:58

49. Jack58221 (Posts: 153; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)

In the past most of our blazing fast computers were built thanks to the gaming community, it pushed much of our electronics to the point that they are at now and games spent the money that aloud them to keep pushing the limits. Now days that is fine by those of us that spend a little more than we should just to have the newest phone tech. This tech may only be for a few people out there, but when some people start to buy into clear phones it will start the funding to design bigger and better transparent devices that could have used in the medical field or even other places at home. ie. a window that could double as a tv.

posted on 24 Feb 2013, 21:02 1

51. RohanM (Posts: 140; Member since: 15 Jan 2013)

superb.. i seen one concept in iron man 2 where that one was so cool..... bring it on.......

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 06:25

52. bobolicious (Posts: 19; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)

You guys all comment bad about the phone but yet we are all going to buy one the day it comes out lol. I personally love the idea. as i walk alot from work and always on my phone texting or playing games, this could come in handy to see whats ahead. But also when this phone is in finished stages and the phone is turned on, its going to be like a normal phone and lights. apps. desktop. functions ect. ect. More then likely its going to ONLY be see thro when its turned off.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 15:11

53. thelukewarm (Posts: 18; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)

it just looks great, but being honest, it is useless, except if you want to show other people what you're doing

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories