Watching rainbow patterns on soap bubbles may be a nostalgic childhood memory for some, but for the researchers at the University of Tokyo, it is the face of the future.
They claim to have created the world’s thinnest display on an unconventional surface, a soap bubble. The technology allows for 2D or 3D images to be shown on the bubble through ultrasonic sound waves.
According to the lead researcher, Yoichi Ochiai, the technology works because essentially, the soap bubble is a micro membrane. It permits light to pass through and is able to show its colors.
At the heart of the soap bubble solution is naturally, soap, but the formulation is made up of two colloidal liquids that allow the bubble to be more durable than regular bubbles. In fact, objects may go through the soap bubble screen without it popping.
Speakers provide the ultrasonic sound waves needed to project the image. With the speakers, the researchers can make the texture of the image rough or smooth. Transparency properties can likewise be altered, in contrast with traditional screens. The result is more realistic images.
The researchers envision a variety of uses for the screen. Artists may use it to show realistic art while magicians can employ it in their illusions.
The soap bubble screen joins other alternative displays that have been made available recently, including a touchscreen display created from ice, as well as a screen made of water.
There is no word as to how much the soap bubble screen could cost when the technology is released to the public.