Friday 31 July 2015

Flick Pixels: Wallpaper for the Internet of Things

Andrew Fentem, interface researcher and the creator of the now-ubiquitous multitouch technology, has announced a new creation: ultra-thin actuators which turn anything into a pixellated display.

Fentem, whose development of multitouch turned into a bit of a bureaucratic farce, pitches Flick Pixel as the "wallpaper for the Internet of Things". By using very thin actuators, the system quickly flicks parts around without electromagnetic motors. As Fentem says, "In other words, it shouldn't work, but careful co-evolution of the hardware components and the control software has created a surprisingly elegant and effective design".

You may have seen something like this before, but not as light, not as quick, and not as flexible in terms of the materials which may be used as a display. Hard-backed fabric looks rather lovely.

 

The actuators can be printed, and Fentem estimates a cost at 10 cents per "pixel", comparable to standard LEDs. It's infinitely customisable, printable, and Fentem is looking for investment and support to develop it further.

Details here.

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