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This transparent iPhone 8 concept is amazing, but don’t hold your breath

Published Feb 6th, 2017 11:38AM EST

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Over the past few weeks, the ConceptsiPhone YouTube channel has released a steady stream of eye-popping iPhone 8 concept videos. Just last week, for example, we highlighted an entertaining video which gave us an interesting look at how a truly edgeless iPhone design might look and feel.

More recently, ConceptsiPhone decided to think way outside the box and imagine what a truly futuristic and forward-thinking iPhone 8 design might bring to the table. What they came up with is absolutely fascinating, albeit completely impossible and impractical. Even though the concept below will never see the light of day, sometimes you just have to put reality aside for a moment enjoy an exceptionally creative video.

That said, behold! An iPhone 8 with a transparent display.

While it’s certainly entertaining to contemplate a futuristic smartphone comprised of a transparent sheet of glass, there is no way this is ever going to happen in a traditional sense. Even though transparent displays do exist — Panasonic at CES this year showed off a wildly futuristic HDTV that becomes transparent when turned off — there’s simply no way that this type of design would ever work on a device like the iPhone.

That said, there was a recent report that stated Apple is actually planning to release a new see-through iPhone in 2017. As we said at that time, however, it’s just not going to happen.

Aside from the fact that the lack of transparency on smartphones is actually a benefit, every single millimeter inside the iPhone is jam-packed with advanced electronics, components, and of course, a massive battery pack. In other words, a transparent iPhone display would really only let us gaze upon the iPhone’s internals, a far cry from the elegant use-case scenarios imagined in the video above.

Skirting around this limitation, the concept video above suggests that Apple might employ an optical sensor on the back that would presumably always be engaged and would help transmit the subtle color tones of the background to the front of the display itself. It’s certainly clever, and truth be told, not wholly unprecedented.

A few months back, we highlighted a see-through Samsung truck that employed a similar trick with front-facing cameras in an effort to help cars behind it see out ahead.

Nonetheless, even though some iPhone concept videos present ideas which are achievable, this particular example isn’t one of them. For a more realistic take on what the iPhone 8 might look like, the following ConceptsiPhone video from this past October is worth sharing once again.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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