Cellphones are no longer a functional necessity. They have social, societal, class, strata and fashion implications that simply cannot be ignored. Thus while the race is on to get trendier and classier mobiles, another race has begun to get out ‘glassier’ mobile phones!
Could Tony Stark’s transparent phone from Iron Man become real? It just took a major step forward thanks to researchers who have discovered a way to make batteries transparent.
Some existing phones, like the LG GD900, have transparent parts, but so far no one’s created one with a completely see-through body. Part of the problem is that the electrodes in the typical lithium-ion batteries found in today’s gadgets aren’t transparent.
A Taiwanese firm, Polytron Technologies are trying to build this fully transparent smartphone prototype. Naturally, we aren’t sure at all if their plan is going to succeed, because the benefits of the transparent phone are somewhat unclear to us, but still, it’s interesting to see what these guys think about the future of the smartphone.
Today, most cells phones and tablet PCs have touch screens that allow the user to make selections by touching icons or letters directly on the display screen.
The basic idea of how most of these devices work is simple. A layer that stores electrical charge is placed on the glass panel of the screen. When a user touches the screen with his or her finger, or with a stylus pen, some of the charge is transferred to the user, so the charge on the layer decreases. This decrease is measured by sensors located at each corner of the screen, and this information is relayed to a processor inside the device, which determines what kind of action to take…
Touch screens made with graphene as their conductive element could be printed on thin plastic instead of glass, so they would be light and flexible, which could make cell phones as thin as a piece of paper and foldable enough to slip into a pocket. Also, because of graphene’s incredible strength, these cell phones would be nearly unbreakable. Scientists expect that this type of touch screen will be the first graphene product to appear in the marketplace.
As you can see from the images, the prototype device is almost fully transparent, with the only visible stuff being the board, chips, memory card and camera. The rest is just a piece of glass with a small touchscreen (also transparent) positioned in the center. According to Polytron, such devices may be available by the end of 2013 – a time-frame which sounds quite unlikely to us.
All in all, while we still can’t see much use in a fully transparent gadget, we’re glad to see that some companies are trying to develop such kinds of futuristic stuff. You never know where the next big thing may come from!