Feeds

Taiwan's Polytron promises see-through phones

Has anyone seen my mobile? I can't find it anywhere!

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Taiwanese manufacturer Polytron has showed a prototype of a transparent smartphone and thinks they could reach the market by year's end.

The Taoyuan-based firm, which describes itself as a leading manufacturer of “electronic and optical vision glass”, demoed an almost completely transparent touchscreen device to Mobile Geeks.

Polytron’s makes "Polyvision Privacy Glass", opaque glass that becomes transparent when an electric charge is applied. The glass contains liquid crystal molecules that are randomly oriented when the power is off, at which time any light hitting the glass is scattered. When the switch is flicked, molecules line up and light passes through as it does with any other glass.

The company thinks it can make smartphones clearer, to the eye if not the ear, with another technology that puts microscopic wires into the glass. Those wires could be used to build the necessary electronics into a handset without revealing their presence to the world.

The early prototype device isn't running an operating system but does sport a SIM card, SD card, batteries, microphone, camera and the all-but-invisible wiring.

Given that SIM, SD card, microphone and battery technology are yet to evolve to the point at which they can be made transparent flavours, perhaps the portion of the phone in which they reside will get the Privacy Glass treatment to hide them from view.

Polytron, which is a subsidiary of US architectural film and glass firm Polytronix, is not the only company working on transparent smartphone designs.

Japanese boffns at NTT Docomo and Fujitsu showed off a prototype Android device with a transparent, double-sided touchscreen interface.

To be fair, that product looked a little further on in development than Polytron’s effort, which is still at a very early stage.

However, an ever-optimistic spokesperson for the firm told Mobile Geeks and MIS Asia they would have working prototypes in limited production by the end of the year. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.