No, it's not an episode of Black Mirror: Samsung is really thinking about a smartphone with a transparent screen. The patent we are talking about today describes a device that looks like it came out of a science fiction series. Samsung is not the only one who is thinking about this solution, nor the first: some time ago we saw how LG is studying a foldable with partially transparent screen, and Sony had patented a similar idea even in 2018. For the more nostalgic, we can cite also a concrete example always branded Sony: remember Xperia Pureness?
Returning to the Samsung patent, the renderings made by the colleagues of Letsgodigital help us to visualize more vividly the proposal illustrated within the document. Although some perplexities remain.
The first concerns, in general, the actual usefulness of such a technology. Beyond the wow effect, a transparent screen would only make the information it hosts less clear and legible: do you want to read the articles or the lines of the hand? And therefore, at a minimum, transparency should be a screen quality that you can toggle on and off at will, and not a permanent feature.
Secondly, there would be the problem of the internal components, on which a transparent screen would look out: a device like the one depicted by Samsung seems impossible because it does not have a frame (upper, lower or side) intended to house everything that is. under the body of a smartphone and which allows it to function, and which a transparent screen would end up showing.
For transparent displays it is easy to imagine applications in commercial or urban contexts: this is the case, for example, of the OLED windows of the Beijing metro. In short, they make sense when they transform a surface that is initially transparent into a screen, and not when they make a screen a showcase: who knows if in the future we will ever see them on smartphones, and how they will be implemented.