Transparent phone display has front-and-back touch

Jun 01, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

( -- Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu attracted attention at this week’s 2012 Wireless Japan expo, with their transparent, dual-sided smartphone touchscreen. This is a see through 2.4-inch display prototype with touch sensors on both the front and flip sides. The demo showed how the user’s hand can go behind the icons on the screen to use touch, while the full display on the front remains unobstructed. With this display, the user can deploy touch on the front, back, and sides or just on the front panel or just the back or sides, or touch both screens at once, depending on desired actions.

Showcasing all the multi-touch maneuvers, the demo highlight was in working out a Rubik’s Cube on the display. Tapping the puzzle image front and back produced various results. The cube was made to spin and move its parts via different gestures.

DigInfo TV carried the narration of the spokesperson on how to work the display:

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

“You could hold down an icon on the front, and slide on the back to move an icon, or use the message bar, or create a new application. For example, from the front, you can only move the whole Rubik cube like this, but if you slide your finger across the front while holding down the back, you can rotate just one face. So this display makes gripping operations possible."

The creators of the screen would be the first to admit, however, that their transparent, two-sided, concept is not fully baked. One downside is limited visibility in sunlight. The transparent touchscreen as is would be difficult to use in the bright outdoors. Also, the prototype shown at the expo featured a 2.4-inch OLED screen (320x240) and used an unidentified version of Android. The NTT DoCoMo spokesperson recognized that the 2.4-inch QVGA display is “quite small.” He said, “We think it needs to be bigger if we're to market this kind of phone.” In its present form, he said that it could be used as a sub-display. “In that case, it will have a limited display capability, so we think the range of applications could be wider."

NTT DoCoMo suggests a possible future end use for the touchscreen might be for two-player games Each gamer would be using separate sides of the display.

There was no news from the two companies about plans to commercialize the prototype, however. Still, the absence of price information and release timetables has not deterred gadget watchers. Those interested in the display say it may prove to be more than show eye-candy. The concept has potential as a realtime device, as the user interface is designed so that the user can control the smartphone from front or rear, with less finger obstruction over the .

Explore further: Review: Better cameras, less glare in iPad Air 2

Related Stories

Japanese Researchers Develop Portable 3D Display System

Sep 29, 2006

NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that it has co-developed a portable, seven-inch 3D display system with Associate Professor Yasuhiro Takagi of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. Both still images and video can ...

Microsoft puts finger on 1ms touchscreen (w/ video)

Mar 13, 2012

( -- Touchscreen features in smartphones and tablets are satisfying perks in going wireless and mouse-less in mobile computing, but now Microsoft wants to make people aware of how much more satisfying ...

Recommended for you

Review: Better cameras, less glare in iPad Air 2

11 minutes ago

If I've seen you taking photos with a tablet computer, I've probably made fun of you (though maybe not to your face, depending on how big you are). I'm old school: I much prefer looking through the viewfinder ...

Samsung phones cleared for US government use

22 hours ago

Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday some of its Galaxy mobile devices were approved by the National Security Agency for use with classified U.S. government networks and data, a boost to the company's efforts to expand in ...

Review: Apple Pay in action

Oct 21, 2014

If there ever comes a day I can ditch my wallet and use my phone to pay for everything, I'll look back to my first purchase through Apple Pay: a Big Mac and medium fries for $5.44. That wallet-free day won't ...

Samsung seeks boost from redesigned Note

Oct 21, 2014

The latest version of Samsung's popular big-screen Galaxy Note has gone on sale at a crucial time for the South Korean company as it suffers a rapid decline in profit from its global smartphone business.

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 01, 2012
and again there is no black color (darker=more transparent)
that is kind of racism, because you can not show images of black people. LOL
4 / 5 (4) Jun 01, 2012
This is pretty clever. Gets rid of the line of sight problem for touch interfaces. Or, you could use it to finally get a good "right-click" functionality by using the back surface for that.
1 / 5 (1) Jun 01, 2012
"Gets rid of the line of sight problem for touch interfaces."

Well it makes a moiety of it at least, lol.

Seriously, though, the entertainment potential in this is where it's, in my mind. Think of something like Battleship or Connect Four, with players sitting opposite each other jabbing at the screen with furious zeal.
not rated yet Jun 05, 2012
This Looks Real good... Japanese Rocks