LONDON – A team of scientists from the University of Tokyo, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Tsukuba have demonstrated the possibility of using a soap film to form a video projection display screen with dynamic texturing.
The soap film is backlit and the display on the screen is excited using ultrasound vibrations which can used to control transparency and surface states of the screen. The sound waves alter the visual texture of a projected image.
"We developed an ultra thin and flexible BRDF [bidirectional reflectance distribution function] screen using the mixture of two colloidal liquids. There have been several researches on dynamic BRDF display in the past. However, our work is different in several points. Our membrane screen can be controlled using ultrasonic vibrations. Membrane can change its transparency and surface states depending on the scales of ultrasonic waves," Yoichi Ochiai from the University of Tokyo, wrote in his blog.
The technique is the subject of patent application.
No indication is given of the practical or theoretical maximum size or resolution for the display. The soap bubble is made from a colloidal liquid that Ochiai describes as being "not easily popped." Indeed video evidence shows it is possible to pass a wetted object through the film without causing it to break down.
Ochiai and colleagues have also prepared a video which they have posted on YouTube.