Latest in Bubble

Image credit:

Colloidal Display uses soap bubbles, ultrasonic waves to form a projection screen (hands-on video)

Zach Honig
08.10.12
16 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

If you've ever been to an amusement park, you may have noticed ride designers using some non-traditional platforms as projection screens -- the most common example being a steady stream of artificial fog. Projecting onto transparent substances is a different story, however, which made this latest technique a bit baffling to say the least. Colloidal Display, developed by Yoichi Ochiai, Alexis Oyama and Keisuke Toyoshima, uses bubbles as an incredibly thin projection "screen," regulating the substance's properties, such as reflectance, using ultrasonic sound waves from a nearby speaker. The bubble liquid is made from a mixture of sugar, glycerin, soap, surfactant, water and milk, which the designers say is not easily popped. Still, during their SIGGRAPH demo, a motor dunked the wands in the solution and replaced the bubble every few seconds.

A standard projector directed at the bubble creates an image, which appears to be floating in the air. And, because the bubbles are transparent, they can be stacked to simulate a 3D image. You can also use the same display to project completely different images that fade in and out of view depending on your angle relative to the bubble. There is a tremendous amount of distortion, however, because the screen used is a liquid that remains in a fluid state. Because of the requirement to constantly refresh the bubbles, and the unstable nature of the screen itself, the project, which is merely a proof of concept, wouldn't be implemented without significant modification. Ultimately, the designers hope to create a film that offers similar transparent properties but with a more solid, permanent composition. For now, you can sneak a peek of the first iteration in our hands-on video after the break.

Gallery: Colloidal Display hands-on | 7 Photos


All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
16 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

New York state bans sales of flavored e-cigarettes

New York state bans sales of flavored e-cigarettes

View
After Math: Shut it down, shut it all down

After Math: Shut it down, shut it all down

View
The best USB-C hubs and docks

The best USB-C hubs and docks

View
'Gears 5' will add new modes and maps in its first six months

'Gears 5' will add new modes and maps in its first six months

View
Hulu's 'Castle Rock' season 2 teaser shows the origins of 'Misery'

Hulu's 'Castle Rock' season 2 teaser shows the origins of 'Misery'

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr