Transparent smartphones to be available by 'the end of 2013'

A video of a transparent smartphone prototype raises hopes for the technology to arrive as early as this year.

A video of a transparent smartphone prototype raises hopes for the technology to arrive as early as this year.

A still from the Mobile Geeks video. (Screenshot by CNET Australia)

Despite being a popular concept in films, the transparent smartphone seemed destined to linger in the domain of science fiction.

But Polytron, a Taiwanese tech company, seems to have made a genuine leap forward in transparent tech, as reported by Mobile Geeks.

The concept phone is a multi-touch smartphone that uses Polytron's own Switchable Glass technology — which is essentially liquid crystal molecules in an OLED display. When powered down, the crystals have a cloudy white appearance, but when the display is on. they can display text and images in some parts of the screen while remaining clear in others.

Obviously, core components such as the battery, SIM and SD cards aren't clear, but as the video suggests, the concept is to have these covered until the technology advances to a point where these can be transparent as well.

While the technology seems to be in its early stages, Polytron is bullish about the transparent smartphone, with general manager Sam Yu saying that its already working with a number of big (although unnamed) handset manufacturers. Yu told Macworldthat commercially available phones that are at least partially transparent are on the way: "It will happen near the end of 2013. Trust me."

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