I am looking for info on something that exists( obviously). Basically, I am looking for the term for the technology for surface treatment that looks just like the rest of the product but a display shows through when turned on.

An example will be the i-shuffle as well as this pic on the front page:

Also, there is another similar technology in which a layer of plating is applied onto a transparent plastic to create a mirror finish. When the display is turned on, the light shows through. I believe it was used on one of the first motorola bluetooth ear pieces. I know what the term is in Chinese( 漸鍍 ) but I tried to search for it but can’t find the English term. Any idea?

i think the term is ‘hidden-when-off’. I tried to search for a few more examples but mostly came back with the front of DVD players - as you mentioned, so i guess this is the term you are after

Its also used in LED technology (clearly) usually in membrane keypads, so you could try to look for further examples in this area.

Just to venture a guess…
in terms of the iPod, it could be something where you are actually seeing a clear plastic with an opaque finish on the inside or “second surface.” The area you want to show through could be masked out to stay clear and the LED portion could have a white film over it to look like its opaque when off, but when on, shows through the color albeit a muted color.

I’m not exactly sure if this is how its done, because it would be difficult to match the opaque and translucent whites, but I figure Apple has plenty of cash for R&D so thats one way they could have done it. There could also be a magical plastic out there that they developed that is opaque until a lightsource hits it.

As for the watch thing, looks like silicone or rubber of some kind. Would have many translucent qualities.

funny how you see something in the morning one day and go into a meeting where it is discussed

the term is “dead fronting”

can be done with material thickness (as I think is done in the i-pod)

potentially in in-mold decorating

ID out

Yes, Dead Fronting.

also IMD is a good but difficult to work with way to both create a protective finish on the outside of the part, but to add graphcis to obscure the light.

another way is with PSA applied graphic overlays

I know I ain’t turned it on, never mind they don’t show at all
they’re just dead frontin’

sorry couldn’t resist

-if you want to go seamless, psa is not the wayto go as you have to build in a 0.5 mm gap for tolerance around the edge - thanks JB

I think that chinese word “渐镀” is a form of the plating, eg: silver-plate or nickel-plate or other metal material is plated to inner side of glass and transparent plastic “shell”.