Video: Polytron builds a transparent smartphone

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Over the past few years, there have been a number of manufacturers who attempted to switch up the status quo in terms of mobile device form factors.

Examples include  flexible displays and mobile phones as well as transparent LCDs. Indeed, a company called Polytron recently showcased off a very cool prototype smartphone.

Yes, rather than uber-high megapixels or a massive screen, the entire phone is clear. At least, most of the prototype smartphone seems transparent. You can clearly make out what appears to be coin cell batteries, a small circuit board, and a memory card, but the bulk of the phone is transparent, including what appears to be a translucent display.

The prototype smartphone is based on a technology known as Smart Glass, which looks opaque when the power is turned off. When the device is powered up, the glass becomes clear allowing you to see through most of the device. At this point in time, the prototype device is very limited, with no functional software and absent hardware.

Frankly, I've never really been convinced about the merits of transparent displays. I would think that being able to see through the screen of your smartphone or even your PC display would be very distracting and likely result in lower video quality.

That being said, I've always thought an appropriate market for transparent displays would be the automotive sector, although there is no indication of when Polytron's tech will actually be ready for the masses.