Now that flexible displays are a reality (and by at least one account, could end up dominating the market in a few years), all bets are off for which crazy display technologies we’ll be seeing pop up in consumer electronics next. Beyond the whole flexible angle, we’ve known that Samsung has been thinking about the idea of phones with transparent screens for years – in fact, it will be two years as of tomorrow since we first showed you a demo video Samsung cooked up to highlight its dreams for what the tech could do. That sort of thing could be getting closer to becoming a reality, as a new Samsung patent application describes just how users might interact with transparent screens.
To be fair, this application was published back in October, but considering the millions of patents out there, it’s quite easy for many to get lost in the crowd, and news of this one is only just going around today.
One interesting aspect of a display like this is how it might accept touch input from the rear. Indeed, Samsung makes a point of highlighting a number of ways such interactions might enhance a user interface. You could use touch input to control a video while playing it, but without obscuring the screen content itself – similar to how the rear touch sensor on the Oppo N1 operates. Or the combination of front and rear touches could be used to navigate through a windowed interface, either moving elements to the foreground or background.
Right now, there are no obvious indications that Samsung’s working to deliver a system like this in a Galaxy smartphone anytime soon, but this could very well be where things end up a couple more years down the road.