Now You See It: Polytron’s New (Almost) Transparent Smartphone

We’ve all seen it – Tony Stark’s famous “clear” phone from Iron Man 2. In fact, the idea of a transparent communication device goes all the way back to the old Star Trek days. What do these have in common? Well, up  until Sunday (February 16, 2013), both of these were purely Science Fiction, but thanks to recent innovations by the Taiwan-based Polytron Technologies, we may be just a little closer to seeing phones like Stark’s in the hands of some of us non-billionaires.

Polytron Tech. released its first prototype this weekend, revealing a futuristic, glass design incredibly reminiscent of the one in the picture above. This would be the world’s first of its kind – a transparent smart phone. Of course, Polytron Tech. is still working out some of the details, such as how to make the very much visible SIM card, power switch, and batteries as see-through as the rest of the phone. The rest of the phone is made of a material manufactured by Polytron Tech. known as “Polyvision Privacy Glass.” This glass, when powered off, is opaque, but becomes transparent when turned on. The application of electricity is responsible for this change, as well as the display on the screen. This occurs when “the liquid crystal molecules line up, the incident light passes through, and Polyvision looks clear,” according to Polytron’s website.

So, maybe we still have a while to wait, but some day, maybe each of us will be carrying around a phone like Iron Man.