I Can See Through Your Juice

The Second Life Mobile Phone Concept works on the premise that we often forget about the battery life of our mobile phones, hence run out of juice, just at the wrong time. As a remedy (rather power-saver-option) the phone incorporates a double display. When in active use the AMOLED screen powers up in all glory and in standby mode the E-ink display gets active. This essentially means that the E-ink uses very little energy and the degree of transparency of the display shows how much battery is remaining. The more transparent the display, the less battery remaining.

So besides ultra-low power consumption, the transparent screen offers an intuitive expression: “You’re low on juice so better recharge the phone soon!” Apparently the E-ink uses power to change the degree of transparency and doesn’t add to the battery load.

I like the idea behind the concept and its transparent vibe, but I guess its more aimed at a niche set of people who keep forgetting to put their phone on charge.

Designers: Cho Sinhyung & Jeon Jungjae

115 Comments

  • Dave H says:

    It's a concept people, not a real product, like nearly everything that appears on this site. It doesn't exist, and probably will never exist, because the leading philosophy in modern design seems to be a style of free-form thinking that has no basis in reality. It's a high-concept form of slinging whatever glop that comes to hand against the wall and seeing what will stick.

    Far too many designers favor form without giving a single thought to function, and they are egged on by people without a clue how (1) incredibly impractical it would be to produce (if not outright impossible), and (2) how incredibly impractical it would be to use every day.

    I think all designers need to be mandated to attend a certain level of engineering classes, and vice versa; and BOTH should be forced to actually use the prototypes before it goes into production. Everyone seems to think the "wow" factor is primary, but they forget it has to work too, and people have to want to use it. Apple has that concept down pat … beautiful designs plus excellent functionality result in people being willing to pay far more than the thing costs to make.

    Let's just say the technology for this product existed (and it does not, lets get that straight, you would have to see something of the innards … and e-ink screens are most decidedly NOT transparent when inactive). Would people actually buy it when the cost turns out to be ten times (or more) that of a similarly functional device? Just for a more visible battery level indicator? Come on, designers, get your heads out of the clouds.

  • Dave H says:

    It's a concept people, not a real product, like nearly everything that appears on this site. It doesn't exist, and probably will never exist, because the leading philosophy in modern design seems to be a style of free-form thinking that has no basis in reality. It's a high-concept form of slinging whatever glop that comes to hand against the wall and seeing what will stick.

    Far too many designers favor form without giving a single thought to function, and they are egged on by people without a clue how (1) incredibly impractical it would be to produce (if not outright impossible), and (2) how incredibly impractical it would be to use every day.

    I think all designers need to be mandated to attend a certain level of engineering classes, and vice versa; and BOTH should be forced to actually use the prototypes before it goes into production. Everyone seems to think the “wow” factor is primary, but they forget it has to work too, and people have to want to use it. Apple has that concept down pat … beautiful designs plus excellent functionality result in people being willing to pay far more than the thing costs to make.

    Let's just say the technology for this product existed (and it does not, lets get that straight, you would have to see something of the innards … and e-ink screens are most decidedly NOT transparent when inactive). Would people actually buy it when the cost turns out to be ten times (or more) that of a similarly functional device? Just for a more visible battery level indicator? Come on, designers, get your heads out of the clouds.

  • Jairus says:

    Sony erricson has already come out with a transparent screen for one of their phones thus making this possible.

  • Jairus says:

    Sony erricson has already come out with a transparent screen for one of their phones thus making this possible.

  • Eldon_of_Azure says:

    This design reminds me a lot of the Nokia Morph concept. Maybe the two minds should get together…

  • Eldon_of_Azure says:

    This design reminds me a lot of the Nokia Morph concept. Maybe the two minds should get together…

  • Gregosaurus Rex says:

    I'm fairly new to this site, having only seen about four pages thanks to StumbleUpon, but it seems to me that this site is about coming up with possible concepts, not practical designs. Every concept is going to be rough and impractical at first, but with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism these ideas can become reality. I'm fairly sure the original concepts for telephones and wireless internet seemed highly impractical at the time, but they eventually became reality. So please take the practicality of these concepts with a grain of salt and politely point out how people's ideas are crappy instead of incessant mud slinging (unless you're trolling in which case carry on).

    1) A phone cannot be fully transparent because there are parts that are required in a phone that currently cannot be made transparent. However, if a section at the bottom were opaque, it could hold the batteries and other necessary parts for the phone with a transparent top (think of a knife with a wooden handle, except the metal is glass and the wood is plastic). Even if the necessary parts are visible, this never stopped kids from thinking the transparent N64 controllers were the coolest things ever. Even boys would fight for the purple controller over the gray if it was transparent.

    2) If there is a thicker outline of plastic around the entire thing, this could protect the glass in the center if it's dropped and lights could be added to give it side lighting instead of back lighting. This would also leave room for wires to the camera and speaker at the top.

    3) I don't know much about e-ink so I can't offer suggestions on how to make that more transparent while not in use as someone pointed out above, but as john c. said you could possibly use lasers, though instead of chemicals possibly aim the lasers at an angle to hit the glass at appropriate spots on the surface of the glass, and if properly connected to resistors or other more appropriate electronic parts, I could see how the amount of battery life left could change the transparency without putting a further burden on the battery life. And in response to another complaint above, most phones already have a difference between active and inactive states of use, so any time you use your phone you're already using more power than when it's not in use. I don't understand how that was even an issue with this design as opposed to any other phone.

    4) As to the privacy issues, as I enjoy those nice surprises from my girlfriend as much as anyone else but don't wish my parents and friends to enjoy it at the same time, you could possibly use one way glass, the same used in police interrogation rooms, and with the side lighting this would make it so you could only see it from the front and not the back (though this may take a good bit of work to perfect).

    I think that covers most of the issues people had with the phone and with some work this phone could become a reality at some point. The biggest concern in my opinion would be finding quality parts that don't cost too much. And to Dave up above, not to start a debate over apple products, but they have a tendency to lack a lot of functionality. The lack of flash on the iPhone and iPad would be one excellent example. Apple is much better at making their products look pretty and at marketing their products than at making their products high quality in terms of functionality. Though I do admit that their products always do look really cool. Also Dave, products are usually tested before being fully released to the public. In software it's called beta testing. It's also commonplace in the pharmaceuticals market. It's not up to the designers to test the product, but the company producing it. Also, I would never have a designer take an engineering course. Designers are meant to be creative and try to image what could be, not what is. It's up to the engineers to take their ideas and change them to make it practical and applicable.

    With current battery and circuitry technology this idea may not come out as perfectly as you're hoping, but with changes in technology this product could become more and more realistic. I like the concept over all and I hope it could work out for you some day.

  • Gregosaurus Rex says:

    I'm fairly new to this site, having only seen about four pages thanks to StumbleUpon, but it seems to me that this site is about coming up with possible concepts, not practical designs. Every concept is going to be rough and impractical at first, but with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism these ideas can become reality. I'm fairly sure the original concepts for telephones and wireless internet seemed highly impractical at the time, but they eventually became reality. So please take the practicality of these concepts with a grain of salt and politely point out how people's ideas are crappy instead of incessant mud slinging (unless you're trolling in which case carry on).

    1) A phone cannot be fully transparent because there are parts that are required in a phone that currently cannot be made transparent. However, if a section at the bottom were opaque, it could hold the batteries and other necessary parts for the phone with a transparent top (think of a knife with a wooden handle, except the metal is glass and the wood is plastic). Even if the necessary parts are visible, this never stopped kids from thinking the transparent N64 controllers were the coolest things ever. Even boys would fight for the purple controller over the gray if it was transparent.

    2) If there is a thicker outline of plastic around the entire thing, this could protect the glass in the center if it's dropped and lights could be added to give it side lighting instead of back lighting. This would also leave room for wires to the camera and speaker at the top.

    3) I don't know much about e-ink so I can't offer suggestions on how to make that more transparent while not in use as someone pointed out above, but as john c. said you could possibly use lasers, though instead of chemicals possibly aim the lasers at an angle to hit the glass at appropriate spots on the surface of the glass, and if properly connected to resistors or other more appropriate electronic parts, I could see how the amount of battery life left could change the transparency without putting a further burden on the battery life. And in response to another complaint above, most phones already have a difference between active and inactive states of use, so any time you use your phone you're already using more power than when it's not in use. I don't understand how that was even an issue with this design as opposed to any other phone.

    4) As to the privacy issues, as I enjoy those nice surprises from my girlfriend as much as anyone else but don't wish my parents and friends to enjoy it at the same time, you could possibly use one way glass, the same used in police interrogation rooms, and with the side lighting this would make it so you could only see it from the front and not the back (though this may take a good bit of work to perfect).

    I think that covers most of the issues people had with the phone and with some work this phone could become a reality at some point. The biggest concern in my opinion would be finding quality parts that don't cost too much. And to Dave up above, not to start a debate over apple products, but they have a tendency to lack a lot of functionality. The lack of flash on the iPhone and iPad would be one excellent example. Apple is much better at making their products look pretty and at marketing their products than at making their products high quality in terms of functionality. Though I do admit that their products always do look really cool. Also Dave, products are usually tested before being fully released to the public. In software it's called beta testing. It's also commonplace in the pharmaceuticals market. It's not up to the designers to test the product, but the company producing it. Also, I would never have a designer take an engineering course. Designers are meant to be creative and try to image what could be, not what is. It's up to the engineers to take their ideas and change them to make it practical and applicable.

    With current battery and circuitry technology this idea may not come out as perfectly as you're hoping, but with changes in technology this product could become more and more realistic. I like the concept over all and I hope it could work out for you some day.

  • ArjunArya says:

    cut the crap . . . . its a beautiful gadget !!

    May the force be with you !!

  • ArjunArya says:

    cut the crap . . . . its a beautiful gadget !!

    May the force be with you !!

  • Me says:

    Is it possible to make aluminum ion batteries, are they efficient? If so, the problem of where to put the battery would be technically solved, some company that I can not remember the name of is making bulletproof aluminum glass. But, of course I could be wrong, and once it’s ionized it can not be made into glass… but it’s still a really good concept.

  • Me says:

    Is it possible to make aluminum ion batteries, are they efficient? If so, the problem of where to put the battery would be technically solved, some company that I can not remember the name of is making bulletproof aluminum glass. But, of course I could be wrong, and once it’s ionized it can not be made into glass… but it’s still a really good concept.

  • Chris Shaw says:

    this is what happens when someone with an art degree tries their hand at product engineering. i honestly havent seen one design on here that is either practical, or achievable at "any" point in the future. I appreciate the eye candy but theres a limit on how much skill goes into designing what will only ever be a picture. To put it in perspective, I could mock up a see through laptop after a day or so, doesnt make me a design genius!

  • Chris Shaw says:

    this is what happens when someone with an art degree tries their hand at product engineering. i honestly havent seen one design on here that is either practical, or achievable at “any” point in the future. I appreciate the eye candy but theres a limit on how much skill goes into designing what will only ever be a picture. To put it in perspective, I could mock up a see through laptop after a day or so, doesnt make me a design genius!

  • guess says:

    Who is the manufacturer of this phone?

  • guess says:

    Who is the manufacturer of this phone?

  • cfurku says:

    i agree with niki for this transparentomania, to the point of privacy.

    as for me, i love all this new innovative future technologies, but sometimes i think they fly too high.

    this cool 3d 90%-glass mobile idea, makes it beautiful but not necessarily handy.

  • cfurku says:

    i agree with niki for this transparentomania, to the point of privacy.

    as for me, i love all this new innovative future technologies, but sometimes i think they fly too high.

    this cool 3d 90%-glass mobile idea, makes it beautiful but not necessarily handy.

  • Pingback: Design in progress
  • gern says:

    Ever used a transparent interface? it's very difficult. The background distracts from the actual content. Bad idea. Sorry. Looks cool, but not really functional.

  • gern says:

    Ever used a transparent interface? it's very difficult. The background distracts from the actual content. Bad idea. Sorry. Looks cool, but not really functional.

  • Andeleh says:

    When this runs out of battery, it poofs.

  • Andeleh says:

    When this runs out of battery, it poofs.

  • specialK says:

    Ok the technology is there you could put the guts in the home soft key and yes it would have to be a soft key (like anyone really cares) use a metal frame to support the phones structure and to run the rest of what you need to the ear pice the phone would have to made of at the least 3 layers 2 of eather a hardened plastic material or a flexible one with the a layer of hardened or flexible screening material its very possible but I would run like shit and and be very expensive it wont be cost effective for another 3 to 5 years roughly grate idea though can’t wait to get one right about the same time my hollowgram laptop comes out and telliportation takes over and ruins the flight industry

  • Karl Johnson says:

    Colour E-ink is only a couple of years away so why bother having a concept using 'far future' (if at all!) technology when something coming soon negates most of the point of it. Yet another case of form over function – I agree with the other posters, time for designers to stick to clothes and let the engineers do the proper work.

  • Nichole says:

    It's a cloaking device.

  • toi says:

    where i can buy it?

  • GMB27 says:

    For those who criticize this concept..BACK OFF!
    Most of you people are already present when they conceptualize a car running in electricity…
    a mobile phone as thin as a pencil….
    a storage device as small as a quarter………
    a computer device that run at 3GHz….

    This kind of gadget will be possible, and most of you criticizing this are just people who are envious that someone thought this up….

  • GMB27 says:

    For those who criticize this concept..BACK OFF!
    Most of you people are already present when they conceptualize a car running in electricity…
    a mobile phone as thin as a pencil….
    a storage device as small as a quarter………
    a computer device that run at 3GHz….

    This kind of gadget will be possible, and most of you criticizing this are just people who are envious that someone thought this up….

  • Jeremy says:

    What exactly makes you think this technology hasn’t been around for far longer than we have been let on. People like you that keep all their faith in their government make me sick. It’s your blind faith and loyalty that give government and the companies and the organizations they run power over the populace. I for a fact have seen full working concepts and models of inventions that would blow your pathetic sense of true reality all to hell. Not only NASA scientists but other “government” ran firms get contracted out with their own specialists to create new technology’s all the time. Do a little research and study your history of not just your own government but those around the world before you sound off like this in a forum. Oh yeah I almost forgot, experimentation is not limited to just new technology but the creation of new drugs as well. Step outside the safe constrains of your own reality and you might be able to free yourself from this constricted barnyard mentality you’ve adopted so well. That of course is only IF you don’t wish to be a sheep forever. Educate yourself and have a pleasant day.

    • Erik says:

      It’s not that we blindly follow our government (the government isn’t bad you dimwit(Try making your own government)) It’s that everytime something is invented. someone knows about it. and can’t keep it a secret.

  • bil says:

    i agree with you…

  • Xiao Hei says:

    Send me a check of 10,000$ and you can have the phone. Don’t forget to mention your shipping address, OK?

  • david zhai says:

    I think the invention let me shine at the moment, is very novel, but I consider is security problems, see this cellular phone models feel very fragile, standby time length, the guarantee period this kind of problem, I always feel standby time is considered the first cell phone

  • miyrie garza says:

    Were can i buy one??
    and how much do they run for

  • mayuku David says:

    Please I need this phone where is their official website where one can buy.

  • Shyam says:

    If any one actully releases this phone I am ready to lay hands on that ASAP

  • rizwan says:

    where we can buy and how much price???
    kindly give me the details…

  • Gwynn says:

    This is a possibility. While it may be a concept before it’s time, such possibilities are already being designed. http://www.oled-info.com/samsung-transparent-amoled-ces-2009-photo

    Transparent screen. Samsung appears to be leading the race but the fact remains that the possibilities are there :-) great design.

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