Transparent phone prototype is getting closer

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.


FEATURED VIDEO

52 Comments

1. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

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

16. phljcnth

Posts: 553; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

So you can now text while driving. Lol

17. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

Voice to text is better.

25. Wiki_jaan

Posts: 704; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

becareful watching p*rn

27. Airforce

Posts: 70; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

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

28. Topcat488

Posts: 1415; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

I want a black one... ;)

29. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 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.

47. tusharkn

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 24, 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

46. tusharkn

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 24, 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

2. joey18

Posts: 666; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

i'm first

4. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

No you not. -1

3. Android4u

Posts: 456; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

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

13. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

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

48. tusharkn

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

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

5. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 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...

6. dynamo.one

Posts: 63; Member since: Feb 14, 2013

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

7. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

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

41. laheelahee

Posts: 213; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

exactly what i was thinking... & w/o a case, what if you step on it?

8. rajagopalan.k

Posts: 35; Member since: Dec 17, 2012

sooooooooo ugly

9. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

yeah right.

10. phil2n

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

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

11. yougotkilled1

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

LG crystal already tried this concept. Nothing new here lol

50. nogetch

Posts: 11; Member since: Feb 23, 2013

Ahem Ahem !! Sony Ericsson pureness !! :)

12. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

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

14. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

15. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I disagree about waterproof phone.

22. JonBjSig

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 17, 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.

18. Tux_Alan

Posts: 74; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

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

19. mydi.maus unregistered

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

20. VJo003

Posts: 365; Member since: Mar 11, 2012

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

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