Across the planet there are researchers working to create flexible and transparent, polymer-based displays for our devices. Some other researchers however, are working on imaging devices that are also flexible, transparent, and polymer based, as reported by the Optical Society's journal, Optics Express.
This new imaging device is definitely clever in its design as it combines multiple technologies. The polymer the device uses is a luminescent concentrator which will absorb light of one frequency and reemitted it at another, lower frequency. When the light is reemitted much of it goes through, making the device transparent, but some of the light is trapped within the polymer, ultimately bouncing around until it comes to an edge where light sensors absorb it. Once absorbed, using algorithms similar to those employed for CT scans, the image of the light hitting the sensor can be recreated.
Currently the image sensor is only producing 32x32 pixel images, but the resolution can be increased by using better photodiodes and with more advanced sampling techniques. The sensor material itself contains no pixels; the pixels of the produced image are just the result of the algorithms used to generate an image. By taking more samples of the light striking the sensor in multiple locations, a better detailed image can be created, without having to improve the photodiodes or increase the time required to make an image.
Source: Optical Society of America