Dual-sided, transparent, flip-capable iPhone Nano?

El Jobso and Co. might just be exploring the possibility according to a recent patent filing unearthed, as usual, by the folks at Apple Insider.

Some of the juicy details include:

"capacitive array element [that] may be a dual-sided panel that is capable of sensing touch from either side and sending signals indicative of the touches to a host device (e.g., a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a digital music player or a mobile telephone unit)."

Of course, many Apple patent filing simply disappear into the dim, dank vaults of 1 Infinite Loop while others show up in ways or products we never could have guessed -- but that certainly doesn't mean we shouldn't try!

I'll admit, the idea doesn't hold much appeal to me, or to those still waiting for their big-apps iTablet Safari Pad, but I've learned never to underestimate Johnny Ive and Cupertino's finest. If anyone could make this little miracle as functional as it is "lick-able", it's them.

What do you think? Does this give us any hard insight into a next-gen iPhone? How does the idea of a translucent touch screen grab you? Is a flip phone a great idea or just another point of failure in the waiting?