Polytron predicts glass smartphones by end of year (w/ Video)

Feb 17, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog
Polytron predicts glass smartphones by end of year
A prototype transparent phone.

(Phys.org)—Polytron Technologies confidently says that this could be the very year that smartphone featuring transparent glass are available. Taiwan-based Polytron Technologies says the phones could arrive in late 2013. The company, which focuses on electronic and optical-vision glass, is a subsidiary of U.S.-based Polytronix. Polytron has been showing off a prototype smartphone that was built from a light piece of glass.

The phone is being showcased in its early stages; there is no software running on the prototype. The goal is to get OEMs motivated enough to consider what this technology can offer. Polytron is anticipating that handset makers will want to build products with its special .

As the prototype reveals, not all of the phone components are invisible; one can see the batteries, camera, and cards. In future design phases, when the phone proceeds further toward production, the plan is to hide the visible components with a darker cover. The glass technology behind this prototype phone is the company's special glass which can transform itself from a cloudy-white, translucent barrier to an optically clear state. The company explains how this works.

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

"The ordinary refractive index of these liquid crystal does not match that of the , and the incident light is thus scattered, resulting in a translucent state. When an electric field is applied across the material, the PDLC droplets re-orient so that the extraordinary refractive index of the matches that of the polymer. Therefore, the incident light can pass through, resulting in a transparent state."

Consumer attraction toward modern design and consumer delight in the novelty of owning a glass phone cannot be dismissed, but a research director at Current Analysis noted that, despite the novelty, the glass phone realistically can hope to sell if the display quality is up to par with the best of today's AMOLED and .

Polytron Technologies, meanwhile, has also produced a transparent USB memory stick that will go into production soon. The USB stick will come in 8, 16, and 32GB choices. The USB has an embedded LED so that the user knows it is connected and working. There was no information on pricing.

Explore further: Lenovo's smart glasses prototype has battery at neck

More information: www.polytronix.com/privacyglass_tech.html

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User comments : 16

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mondoblu
4 / 5 (12) Feb 17, 2013
Weird device, why I should need a transparent phone? It is unpratical, as it is difficult to find the smartphone on a table or any other usual surface.
Btw, batteries are not transparent, and you cannot use such small batteries with a smartphone because they don't provide enough capacity.
JRi
3.8 / 5 (10) Feb 17, 2013
This is not even a prototype, this is a mockup. A piece of a plexiglass with holograms and two cell batteries inside it. No wonder he made no phone calls.
verkle
3.3 / 5 (7) Feb 17, 2013
I don't see any benefits of such a phone. Won't it be harder to view what is on the screen if there are other objects visible in the background?
The mockup is so far from a real phone. No real LI battery. No antenna. No modem. No CPU/SDRAM.

djr
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2013
verkle: "The mockup is so far from a real phone. No real LI battery. No antenna. No modem. No CPU/SDRAM."

But a claim that we will see early models in less than one year. So we are getting a very early look into the future. I can see incredible applications for this kind of technology (windows that become display screens). Boy - so much negative on this site - where is the vision?
wealthychef
5 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2013
verkle:Boy - so much negative on this site - where is the vision?


You must be new here. :-) Wait until you see a few more "future technologies" and "breakthrough discoveries" here and how they never seem to become an actual product. They always seem to have a fatal flaw that prevents them from coming to market. But I do always come back for more, so I guess I do have hope.
tekram
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2013
Instead of a hand held phone, this transparent glass should be used as a projection over eye glasses such as in Google's project Glass, or perhaps as a bluetooth or wifi peripheral to iphone or android phones. People would be wearing these type of projection glasses instead of bluetooth head phones for both visual and aural aid. Since the transparency is adjustable, it offers a level of security and privacy as in self-darkening sunglasses.
VendicarE
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2013
Wow... This is the pet rock of our time.

Amazing.
Infiniteloop
4.3 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2013
'Looks like a fantastic investment opportunity' ~ Hans Christian Andersen
VendicarE
3 / 5 (5) Feb 17, 2013
Finally the invisible man and invisible woman will have the phone they always wanted.

http://www.youtub...Xr6SP13Y
tigger
1 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2013
Apple fanboys will still buy it! Ridiculous.
Shakescene21
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2013
Amazing!!! This is a Game-Changer!!!!
How does Physorg find these break-throughs?
seb
2 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2013
So basically this would act like the glass in the recent Total Recall remake, where someone's personal interface is projected through the glass surfaces?

At first I was thinking.. transparent case.. what's the big deal? But then I saw it in action in the video and saw that it wasn't just a screen and transparent plastic, the image was being projected.. Very neat.
alfie_null
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 18, 2013
I wonder if this technology could be used for heads-up displays in vehicles?
PPihkala
5 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2013
As far as I understood, they demonstrated white/transparent display. But what is the speed and how would they add colors to such a display?
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2013
Actually, this is pretty cool. Have you ever been annoyed by a smartphone touch screen because your finger gets in the way when you are using it? Imagine having the images on the screen be semi-opaque and there's a touch surface on both sides. You could do the touch screen interface on the back side so that your fingers aren't blocking your view while you're touching it. That might even work better because then you would be using your fingers in stead of your thumb like we all do now. My index finger is much thinner, longer and more dexterous than my thumb, so that sounds good to me. I've heard about technology like this before, and that was the thing that I liked about it. You could also create new finger gestures by combining motions on both sides of the screen at the same time.

As for fully transparent displays, they are already available. You can get them for retail store display counters and refrigerator door displays. I assume this device is lighter and more durable.
meteorabob
1 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2013
Who can tell me how they make silicon based CPU invisible?