If there’s one thing people are good at, it’s making ideas a reality. About two years ago, an image of a transparent smartphone was passed around on popular image sharing sites, like Tumblr, Reddit, and 9gag. It appeared to be a panel of glass with a translucent display, clearly showing that it is a vision of what a future smartphone could be.
From Science Fiction to Reality
This isn’t really a stretch of the imagination lots of "sci-fi" movies and media today like to show the progress of technology going the "transparent" route. Either as stand-alone hologram projections that could be manipulated by mere touch or by transparent display screens. It’s not a new development; even shows like CSI were doing this kind of concept five years ago.
Often, mankind has found itself turning ideas into reality; which is why science fiction is seen as a vision of the future. It was decades ago when Star Trek presented the idea a communicator than ran on the LCARS system that could wirelessly connect to libraries and databases of information as well as communicate from ship to surface. These days we have the smartphone, the contemporary version of the first cellular phone that was actually inspired by Star Trek.
The Future of the Smartphone
By a few touches and gestures, a world of information and data from all over the world is readily displayed on your smartphone’s screen. A smartphone can do things full-sized computers can: create documents, s edit images, help you buy music, play videos, and more. They can even communicate in the standard cellular service and VoIP phone service. In fact, there’s so much they could do that innovators are trying to find more ways to make them even more futuristic.
I Taiwan-based Polytron decided that this was the time to go ahead and bring geeks to their knees by producing the first prototype transparent smartphone. It seems unbelievable, since we’ll be expecting to to see the microchips, wiring, and other technological innards within our smartphones. But Polytron’s transparent smartphone is as clear as glass, save for the processor and other components on the edges.
How does the phone work?
The phone initially appears translucent, much in the same way as frosted glass does. But when an electric current runs through the smart glass (not the same as Microsoft’s SmartGlass), it creates a reaction in the glass that causes it to become transparent. Some particular parts SD card, SIM card, batteries, and microphone certainly aren’t translucent (and that really can’t be helped), although the rest of the phone is, and Polytron has presented plans on covering these unsightly things with a small opaque fixture.
Because it’s such a brand new prototype, there’s no OS on it yet (and it’ll be quite exciting to see exactly what kind of OS can run on it). Polytron’s goal is to show the hardware integration and urge OEMs to look into the potential of the technology. The device currently can be powered on, with a shimmering prismic number display projected onto it.
All of this is merely hardware, but if integrated with an OS, which is not too far-fetched now, there can definitely be a dazzling potential for bringing this invention to life.