Tony Stark's transparent phone was just a fancy prop in Ironman 2, but it looks like a real see-through device is coming our way, if a recent Samsung patent filing is any indication.

40 Years of the Cell Phone: Photos

Samsung Electronics registered a patent in Korea this month for a digital camera with a transparent display that “allows the person taking the photo and the subject of the photo-shoot to look at each other and have direct eye-contact for photo shooting," the Wall Street Journal's Min-Jeong Lee reported. Hat tip to Dvice for the Tony Stark reference.

Lee goes on to describe a diagram of a compact camera device with a lens and a wide transparent display. Other than having a button on the side, not much else was revealed. I do relish the idea that amateur photographers won't be able to hide any more: Their subjects can see right through to the person snapping the picture.

Curious to see the details firsthand, I searched for Samsung's filing on the Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service site, but was unable to pull up anything that resembled the camera Lee described. (There could be a number of reasons for this. Just know that I did try.)

Perhaps it's similar to the transparent prototype phone from Taiwanese company Polytron, which made some buzz last year for its smartphone made of glass.

Even though Samsung is just proposing a camera, a phone can't be far behind. The number of people who only want a compact digital camera that doesn't do anything else has been dwindling in recent years.

Transparent Phone Screen Prevents Collisions

In Ironman 2, the drool-worthy transparent “phone" actor Robert Downey Jr. used was actually just a piece of glass with graphics added in post-production. Just because it wasn't real then doesn't mean it might not be in the future. Without any movie magic.

Image Credit: Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service via the Wall Street Journal.