Think Minority Report, think Aliens, in fact think every Sci-fi movie you´ve ever seen because a new breakthrough in display technology means those flashy transparent touchscreens all their protagonists use could soon be a reality.
The scientists at Germany´s Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research are our unlikely heroes (Geeks are the new cool, baby). This undoubtedly bespectacled bunch have managed to wed OLEDs with conventional LCDs and thus transform laminated glass into a display panel. Furthermore, initial brightness, operating life time and efficiency results were so good that the team says the first commercial applications can already be envisaged.
So what are these uber-cool theories? Well, the Minority Report et al touchscreens are only the beginning with the boffins also suggesting display panels will be illuminated from different sides. The result would be either a two way screen (different images on the front and back) or simply to project the image in a single direction so, for example, car windscreens can display information for the driver but remain invisible to the passerby.
Fraunhofer Institute informs us that demonstration models of this hybrid technology already in production, though they´re spoiling our fun by not releasing any photography just yet (damn them). Whether we can manage to control our own bladders until they do remains a matter for some debate...
Apparently it isn´t just Germans that are clever clogs in this area: a company called Universal Display Corporate is also making similar breakthroughs and working with Samsung on consumer related products. Seems like this technology is ready to out and no one can stop it...