Soapy Screen with Speaker ControlCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: July 2, 2012 05:36AM
Belying its normally mundane tasks, soap is an amazing material with a variety of uses. Not only can it be used to clean things, but helps newborn babies breath, and structures, like highways, can be planned based on soap bubbles. Now it appears soap bubbles can be used as displays by carefully controlling the membranes reflectivity and transparency.
The soap bubble, in this case made of colloids that resist popping, can be controlled with ultrasonic speakers. These speakers are what give the membrane the needed properties to properly reflect an image, but they also allow the texture of the image to change on the fly. By varying the transparency of multiple soap screens, a three dimensional image can also be created with different images on each membrane.
This may never become the display technology of choice for computers, even though it is the thinnest display yet made, but could see use in museums and with artists. Using a polygonal frame for the membranes could make it possible to project an entire object into a space as well.