When was the last time that you wished there was a better way to view your cell phone screen while you dragged a contact or a map? Researchers at Microsoft and Mitsubishi have developed a prototype semi-transparent screen that lets users manipulate screen from both the front and the back.

The key concept underlying the technology, called LucidTouch, is to use fingers to manipulate the screen while not blocking the content on the screen. The user performs the actions behind the screen, while an image of the points of contact or fingers are projected on the front screen in an unobtrusive manner.

With the advent of more powerful devices and more media intensive applications, portable devices will be the grounds for immense innovation in UI technologies.

Here’s a quote from Technology Review’s article about two-sided touch screens:

As touch screens shrink, says Scott Klemmer, a professor of computer science at Stanford University, one of the biggest problems users face is inadvertently covering up content with their fingers. LucidTouch, he says, “distinguishes itself in two ways: first, it provides better feedback about where you are … and the other distinction is that it’s multitouch.”

What innovations would make your mobile UI experience better? Perhaps some ideas you mention here may be food for thought for further research. TechRepublic members, please fire away!