A lot of breakthrough inventions around touchscreen technology have happened since the first touchscreen smartphones were launched. Microsoft unveiled its Natural User Interface (NUI) breakthrough with the launch of the HoloDesk, and many more followed.
But a transparent, dual-sided smartphone touchscreen — the latest addition by Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu — has recently been unveiled, the highlight at the 2012 Wireless Japan expo.
The smartphone is a 2.4-inch display prototype with touch sensors on either side (front and back). The smartphone allows users to manipulate icons behind the screen using touch, while the front display remains clear. The smartphone gives users various touch options (multi-touch manoeuvres). From touch on the front, sides or back, front panel or back panel only, or sides, or using both (back and front) screens simultaneously.
During the showcasing, the companies worked out a Rubik’s Cube to demonstrate the various multi-touch manoeuvres. A number of varying manoeuvres were used to produce different results. According to the joint manufacturers, the new smartphone makes griping operations possible.
However, the smartphone isn’t ready hit the markets just yet. The prototype still has a number of shortcomings the companies will have to work on. For instance, it suffers limited visibility in sunlight, which would make it difficult for users would to use the transparent touchscreen outdoors (in bright sunlight). Its screen is also too small — users would perhaps have to increase its size.
Even with its challenges facing its possible future use, however, the manufacturers believe it could be handy for two-player games. Each player would have a touchscreen through which to play and interact.