Why Samsung's Transparent Phone will fail.

 Samsung Transparent Display Phone. 


Samsung is working on a transparent phone, and you might be thinking I feel like I've heard this news somewhere before. Well, that's because they started registering patents for it seven years ago. They wrote more patents in 2018 and then again literally a couple of weeks ago—all of these points towards one thing that we don't know when it's coming. We don't even know if it's coming.


But we know that behind the walls of Samsung HQ this is being worked on now there's someone who's grown up watching much sci-fi where it's practically a stereotype of the future to have transparent displays and transparent phones. It is crazy to me that this isn't fiction anymore. Last month, Xiaomi announced a transparent TV.


You can go into the store demo it. You could take one home if you like it. It is a real product, a device that can display a vibrant OLED picture, and then when it's off, disappear into a razor-thin sheet of glass. I mean, I say that, but I'll be the first to admit that this particular usage case is not a smart idea. I think a living room tv system is probably one of the top five worst use cases of a transparent display.


Because you generally sit a tv in one spot and then never really move it, you're not going to notice the transparency unless you get up and walk around it. Because it's probably sitting in your living room, chances are all it's going to do remind you what the back of your wall looks like and potentially even remind you of that spaghetti of cables you had behind your screen plus the recommended usage scenario for transparent TVs right now is making sure the wall behind is dark.


But think about that for a second if the wall behind your tv is dark it might as well not be a transparent tv now it actually would make sense if it was like a fitted panel something that people could install in a place where they were going to have glass anyways but it just so happens that that glass is also their tv but anyways yeah I'm not hugely sold on that idea and to be really fair in all of these sci-fi movies as prevalent as these see-through displays and see-through phones are there's never really an explanation as to why i feel like a lot of people are convinced that this is the future but often just because well it's futuristic but that in itself is just a self-fulfilling prophecy yes it's a screen protector i'm gonna roll with it so is a transparent smartphone any better i would argue yes and i do think it's possible the idea would basically be to have a transparent display and then all your transparent components sitting directly behind it and then all the things that you couldn't make transparent shove them into the bezels and i get that this sounds like science fiction but we are getting there transparent circuit boards are a thing transparent cables are a thing even transparent batteries are starting to become a thing.


So yes, while a fully transparent phone will take the time, I'm just saying that I think it's plausible, so why would you want one now there is already the undeniable perk of transparent is cool. If you gave me a couple of hours, I could probably name you 100 products founded on this premise alone.


But to be fair, I think with transparent phones, there is more to it than a minor safety benefit people walk around the street staring at their phones. You could argue that if your phone is transparent, you at least have some awareness of what's happening around you, but also, if we take a closer look at the patents Samsung's been filing, some of the detail a display that can because it's transparent.


be used on both the front and the back it might mean that you could use your phone usually without, Obstructing your view with a finger might mean you could effectively pinch objects. You'd almost have another dimension when interacting with digital content. This device right here, for example, was something created by Japanese mobile operator Docomo where you could, for instance, use one hand on the back to hold a Rubik's cube still and another to rotate parts of it.


Like you would in real life and bear in mind that that demo was from 2012. there is an apparent problem with the transparent device that whatever's happening right behind you might interfere with what you're trying to say. We already know that this is a solvable problem because glass can tint itself transparent display glass can adjust its transparency on the fly. 


You've seen that one plus concept one phone right actually employed this exact technique darkening its glass to make its cameras disappear from view, but all this stuff is relatively minor. I think the big selling point of a transparent phone is augmented reality see. Even now, we can play games like pokemon go with these virtual creatures running around in our real world. 


We can scan text in a foreign language and convert it to our own to measure the distance of real-world objects. Still, in the current way that this is done, there's a disconnect between you and the real world that you're interacting with what you're seeing is not really what's in front of you; it's just a representation of what's in front of you show on a screen which in itself is only information displayed by the camera of your phone it doesn't feel real it doesn't feel like your reality is getting augmented. 


But with a transparent phone, you can bypass all of that. Imagine just holding up this digital pane of glass and seeing those objects alive right in front of you; it would be the next level of immersion. All that said, I don't think transparent phones are going to become a thing.


See two of the biggest most persistent trends in technology other people want to be as connected as possible, always online, always just one interaction away from other people and b at the same time, more than ever, people want immersion a way to lose themselves in digital worlds that feel as real as possible that's why people love VR so much but where do these two things lead us because then they almost seem like contradictions. 


Like how can you be always connected and always interacting with other people if, at the same time you've sunk into a digital experience well, I would argue that it all leads us to mixed reality, a world where digital becomes fused with the physical you are entirely immersed but at the same time so is everyone else? 


So you're always connected, and there are considerable benefits to this you wouldn't need road signs to know where you're driving, you wouldn't need great weather to be able to look out the window and see a bright sunny day you'll be able to learn everything you need about an item in a shop before you actually pay for it and most importantly pokemon go could be what it was in the initial trailer with people wandering around their real-world catching seemingly real pokemon that's the dream, and I do get that at the same time this sounds just as terrifying as it is exciting. 


The transparent smartphone would be a step above a regular phone in immersing you into this digital world. Still, there's a competing product that would be two steps above augmented reality glasses. If the real world is merging with the virtual, then it makes complete sense for you to be able to access this through something you can wear as opposed to something you have to hold instead of having to install a transparent display in my car 15 in my house and then 100 in my shop it makes sense to have one transparent display that can do everything and it makes sense for that display to not be on a smartphone but to be on your face plus by the time a transparent phone is completely viable I think we'll already be on our third generation of ar glasses, so I don't think they'll even be given

enough time to become a thing. 

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