updated 05:53 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2012
Transparent, double-sided screen with interaction possibilities
Japanese cellular carrier Docomo has been showing off a prototype smartphone that sports a transparent display. The device, developed in conjunction with Fujitsu, opens up new possibilities for smartphone interfaces, as the touchscreen is capable of registering inputs from both its front and back surfaces.
The prototype has a 2.4-inch, 320x240 QVGA display. In a video (below) showing off the technology, the user grasps the smartphone by its edges; both hands are capable of interacting with one of the two sides of the touchscreen.
The phone is shown running an older version of Android. The user in the video is able to use the index finger of the hand holding the phone to access the menu dropdown on the back-facing touchscreen without obscuring his view of the front of the display.
The dual touchscreens also enable novel interactions with the interface. The user is shown using the back-facing touchscreen to anchor a Rubik's Cube, while the front-facing touchscreen is used to manipulate aspects of the Cube without rotating the whole.
The device is still in the prototype stage, so there is no information on when or if it could make a commercial appearance. Docomo representatives say that, while it is possible the technology could be used in a sub-display, the screen will have to be both bigger and brighter before it is likely to appear in any consumer devices. [via Akihabara News]