CES 2010: transparent is the new piano black

There have been movements through black, white, silver, gold, primary colours, hot pinks and electric blues. But the new colour trend in gadgetland is

There have been movements through black, white, silver, gold, primary colours, hot pinks and electric blues. But the new colour trend in gadgetland is no colour at all.

We’ve seen (or not) the odd clear plastic surround. Heck, even the transistor’s precursor was a glowing glass valve.

Now transparent tech is back on the rise. And it’s not just the housing that’s getting a glassy makeover. Witness the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness, a phone whose screen is a window to the world beyond.

Okay, so it’s a bit of a gimmick, and potentially a bit of an annoyance once the novelty wears off, but there is method to some of this madness.

Take the AMOLED screen of Samsung’s new IceTouch PMP (pictured), which acts as one-way glass. Why? Because the controls are fondled by a finger behind the screen.

And it doesn’t look like Sammy’s stopping there. Following in the invisible footsteps of the IceTouch, the company is showing a 14-inch concept laptop at CES with a transparent screen (AMOLED, again) and bezel.

We’re not entirely sure what useful function that will serve other than to turn heads, but consider our curiosity spiked. At the dawn of the transparent era, our eyes are open, but we can’t see much.

Whether that’s a good thing remains to be seen.

Follow the Stuff CES team on Twitter:

Stuff editor Fraser Macdonald

Stuff.tv editor Simon Osborne-Walker

Consulting editor Tom Dunmore

Reviews editor Mark Wilson

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