Transparent tech: DoCoMo unveils smartphone with dual-sided see-through touchscreen

Japan’s biggest mobile carrier has showcased a prototype Android smartphone featuring a dual-sided transparent touchscreen display.

The device was unveiled by DoCoMo this week at the Wireless Japan show in Tokyo.

The technology, developed together with electronics firm Fujitsu, allows the user to carry out tasks via the back touchscreen thereby avoiding obstruction of the front display.

A screen like this, where both the front and back touchscreens can be utilized at the same time, could open up many more possibilities for the user.

“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,” Masashi Tagaya, a member of DoCoMo’s development team, told DigInfo TV. “For example, from the front, you can only move the whole Rubik cube, 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.”

DoCoMo may not be the first company to mess around with transparent touchscreen displays though it does appear to be the first to incorporate Android, creating a handset that looks close to being a genuine working device.

However, the prototype’s 2.4-inch screen is obviously tiny by today’s standards, though with further development DoCoMo hopes to make it larger. Another issue is that the screen isn’t particularly bright, making it difficult to view when strong light is present. Again, the company is looking at ways to make the screen perform better in bright conditions.

Transparent smartphone displays that can be operated from both sides — is it something which interests you, or do you think it’s just a bit of gimmicky tech that would never be a hit with consumers even if it did make it to the stores?

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