Leading Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has shown off a prototype transparent touchscreen that can be operated from both sides. One advantage of the display is the ability to modify traditional screen taps in a manner akin to the Shift key on a keyboard, and it also lets you use your mobile device without obscuring onscreen information. It was shown running a Rubik's Cube demo where tapping the puzzle from the front and back allowed for more accurate and complex multitouch maneuvers.
A Docomo representative said that viewing in sunlight can currently be problematic, but placing a dark object behind the screen improves visibility somewhat. Inside Docomo's headquarters, at least, the display looked impressive and in many ways easier on the eyes than a backlit LCD. It certainly tops Sony Ericsson's monochrome Xperia Pureness, though that phone at least had the distinction of actually making it to market. Docomo wouldn't be drawn on when we'll see this display in a shipping device, but since it was hooked up to an external processing unit we're thinking later rather than sooner.