A team of researchers working at the University of Bristol and Sussex recently used soundwaves to pick up several tiny objects in one go before flipping and spinning them with electric force fields. Known as JOLED, the technology can be used for turning multi-colored, small sized spheres into real-life pixels that can turn into floating displays or give life of online game characters like any other physical objects. This research has opened up gates for several new possibilities for game and mobile designers. It is like the beginning of a completely new era of digital data representation in physical space.
According to Sriram Subramanian, the head of lab in this research and a professor in University of Sussex’s School of Engineering “We’ve created displays in mid-air that are free-floating, where each pixel in the display can be rotated on the spot to show different colours and images. This opens up a whole new design space, where computer and mobile displays extend into the 3D space above the screen.”
These pixels are levitated with the help of a series of small sized ultra sound speakers that formulate high-intensity and high-pitched sound waves completely inaudible but strong enough to keep all spheres in a place. There is also a ultra-thin layer of titanium dioxide that geants these pixels with an electrostatic charge. This permits these to manipulate the changes in mid-air to form an electric force field as formed by the small sized electrodes.
Deepak Sahoo, the research associate in human-computer interaction at the University of Sussex further adds, “The most exciting part of our project is that we can now demonstrate that it is possible to have a fully functioning display which is made of a large collection of small objects that are levitating in mid-air. JOLED could be like having a floating e-ink display that can also change its shape.” It is one of the first demonstrations that defined a completely awesome level of control over such levitating pixels, letting the technology move closer to a concept that can do wonders for galleries and theme parks.
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