Scientists said Thursday that invisible, high-speed circuitry from Japan someday soon could form the innards of devices now seen only in science fiction, such as televisions made of nothing but hunks of transparent crystal.

“Transparent transistors are the first step towards the realization of transparent displays, such as seen in Tom Cruise’s last summer movie, ‘Minority Report,'” electrical engineer John Wager of Oregon State University in Corvallis told United Press International. “I was astonished when I first heard about this result.”

Inventors have used invisible conductors of electricity in gadgetry for years. Clear wires that heat up when electrified help defrost car windows. See-through films carry voltage and underlie computer touch screens.

However, if scientists can weave these invisible conductors to make transparent circuitry, they could brighten the laptop industry and other billion-dollar markets, Wager explained. The most common types of flat panel displays are called active matrix liquid crystal displays, or AMLCDs.

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