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Take a look through this transparent smartphone screen

This futuristic smartphone concept offers users the ability to control its transparent double-sided touch screen from either side.

Peek a boo. (Click to enlarge.)
Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu showed off a sensational prototype device at the 2012 Wireless Japan expo sporting a feature unlike any other on the market today: a transparent dual-sided OLED touch screen smartphone. In other words, science fiction meets reality.

The latest take on the barely there touch screen concept appears slightly more practical than ever before, as one could control the user interface from the front or rear of the phone. For example, one could pull down the notifications bar or select an icon with the unused index finger behind the phone, meaning less finger obstruction over the screen. The prototype shown at the expo featured a 2.4-inch OLED screen (320x240) and used an unidentified version of Android.

History buffs might recall that Sony Ericsson tried its hand at the transparent display concept several years ago with the Xperia Pureness, but the excessively overpriced phone sorely lacked features and practicality. NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu didn't announce any sort of release timetable or price for the transparent smartphone prototype.

In an interview with, Masashi Tagaya, from NTT DoCoMo's research and development, noted that the transparent display "needs to be bigger if we're to market this type of phone," and admitted that "compared to a standard smartphone, this one still has slightly low brightness. We'd like to improve the technology to overcome things like that."