The Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Institute (AIST) of Japan has developed a new type of “light-controlling” sheet that can switch between reflective and transparent states. AIST said the method can be applied to any glass panel to give it the ability of changing the opacity level. The trick is done by applying voltage to a microscopic gap filled with hydrogen between the acrylic sheet and the glass panel.
A similar electrochromic glass solution is already commercialized. That method, however, only frosts the glass panel instead of blocking the lights. Thus, light can still pass through and raise the temperature of the panel.
AIST is focused on using this technology for industrial applications, but there’s no reason this couldn’t be applied to AMOLED transparent displays. With rumor talks of future Microsoft’s Surfaces and Apple’s iPads using transparent panels, this technology can be used for privacy concerns in hybrid devices like the Surface concept shown above.