While Samsung is busy working on flexible unbreakable displays, handset makers in Taiwan could be crafting the exact opposite. Sam Yu, an executive at the Taiwanese firm Polytron Technologies, vows that transparent smartphones made of glass will hit the market sometime this year.
“It will happen near the end of 2013,” Yu said to Tech Hive while showcasing a crystal clear prototype. “Trust me.”
The prototype wasn’t functional, but did illustrate what a glass-based device could look and feel like. Today’s handsets are typically encased in plastic or metal, but Polytron intends to introduce specially designed glass that could contain near-invisible electric wiring. This would create a transparent visual effect, the company told Tech Hive.
However, certain internal components such as the battery, camera and memory card would remain visible. The majority of the handset’s body, excluding these pieces, would be completely see-through.
“I like things that are novel and look beautiful,” Yu also said to the technology news site. “Current mobile phones are heavier, but with this glass you can make it much lighter.”
Polytron has focused on creating glass for construction projects until this point, but Yu believes there is a strong future for this type of technology in the electronics industry.
“All handset makers are looking to work with us,” he also said, without naming any specific manufacturers. “The technology is mature.”
The idea of transparent technology is nothing new for gadget makers, but there has yet to be a prototype perfected for retail availability. Samsung has been flaunting its flexible display technology for more than a year now, and released a video teasing the imagination with what life would be like surrounded by transparent tech.
There’s no word on which companies plan to work with Polytron and cash in on this tech. But, curiously enough, an Apple patent was discovered last March that describes an iPhone made entirely of glass. Perhaps this will be Apple’s answer to Samsung’s bendable displays, but we’ll have to wait until later in 2013 to know for sure.
Check out the video below to get a glimpse of Polytron’s glass prototype firsthand.