updated 01:24 pm EDT, Fri July 6, 2012
Concepts based on the technology offered to Real Steel producers
HP has been granted a patent for a see-through display, opening up more possibilities for augmented reality computing. Originally filed in 2006 with the USPTO, the patent describes a way for people to see both an image on-screen and whatever lies behind the monitor itself, using a system of light-reflective slats on a transparent panel, according to the BBC.
Reflective-yet-transparent surfaces have been tried in other applications before, such as the teleprompters used by TV networks; HP, however, believes that its approach could solve problems existing systems have in displaying grayscale or full-color images. Concept designs such as the HP Flex and the ThruScreen were offered to the makers of the movie Real Steel. One suggestion by HP is to use the technology on a car windscreen for navigation data.
Transparent displays have been worked on by many parties. In May, NTT DoCoMo showed off a prototype smartphone with a 2.4-inch, 320x240 touchscreen display, while Samsung has previously expressed an interest in using a transparent screen on a production notebook.