Transparent phone display has front-and-back touch

June 1, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(Phys.org) -- 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: Japanese Researchers Develop Portable 3D Display System

Related Stories

Japanese Researchers Develop Portable 3D Display System

September 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)

March 13, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 the touchscreen ...

Recommended for you

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Expiorer
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
antialias_physorg
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.
pokerdice1
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.
Harsh_AJ
not rated yet Jun 05, 2012
This Looks Real good... Japanese Rocks

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.