Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu premiered a prototype device at the 2012 Wireless Japan expo with something completely radical in today's market: a transparent dual-sided OLED touch screen smartphone.
Techie historians might recall that Sony Ericsson tried its hand at the transparent display concept several years ago with the Xperia Pureness, but the exorbitantly overpriced phone was bereft of features and practicality. The latest take on the barely there touch screen concept appears slightly more practical than ever before, as one can control the user interface from the front or rear of the phone. For example, one could pull down the notifications bar or select an icon with the unused index finger behind the phone, meaning less finger obstruction over the screen. The prototype shown at the expo featured a 2.4-inch OLED screen (320x240) and used an unidentified version of Android.
NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu didn't announce any sort of release timetable or price for the transparent smartphone prototype. In an interview with DigInfo.tv, Masashi Tagaya, from NTT DoCoMo's research and development, noted that the transparent display "needs to be bigger if we're to market this type of phone," and admitted that "compared to a standard smartphone, this one still has slightly low brightness. We'd like to improve the technology to overcome things like that."
We're not sure how such a device would actually be an improvement over backlit smart phone screens, but with mobile real estate trending bigger these days to accommodate more applications from gaming to digital photography and even video editing on the fly, it may have an application we haven't even thought of yet.