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LCD paint

Paint that turns a wall into a huge computer screen
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Not sure if this idea has been proposed before or not (feel free to delete it if it has).

Basically, you would buy a can of "LCD paint", which when painted on a wall, turns it into a big computer sceen.

The way I envision it could work is to have some sort of clear glue substrate, and millions of little display "cells" that would be embedded in it. Each cell would act somewhat like a RFID chip, in that it would draw power from radio signals. It would then use that power to display whatever colour at whatever intensity it was told to by the radio signal. To generate the radio signals and provide an interface with the computer, there would be four "pods", one at each corner, that would aim directional radio beams (or some other wavelength, since radio waves have far too large of a wavelength) at the area enclosed as the screen. Each display cell would have more than one antenna, and would only display something when more than one beam converged on it. Using pods at the corners also has the advantage that the display size can be changed at will, simply by changing the position of the pods.

kyle90, Dec 11 2004

Halfbakery: Programmable House Paint Programmable_20House_20Paint
[jutta, Dec 14 2004]


       kyle90; Before you start on this undertaking, remember to undercoat this wall with Aluminum paint, which is known by Merchant Seamen the world over as the finest Undercoat of all!
blueswag, Dec 12 2004

       Rather than triangulating the radio signals, how about another implementation: give each one of the little cells a unique numerical address, and the ability to respond (light up) only when the address is present in the incoming radio signal. Then you transmit the addresses of the pixels you'd want to light up repeatedly.   

       You'd have to "calibrate" the screen once it was painted, to find out what addresses corresponded to what points on the wall. This could be done by transmitting test patterns and photographing them with a camera.   

       You'd need a pretty high speed radio signal for this implementation. If it were a 5 megapixel display, and each address was a standard 48 bit IEEE unique address, 30 frames per second could be up to 7 gigabits per second (assuming each cell was just "on" or "off", more if each cell has a color or intensity).   

       It seems just a tad beyond current technology to implement, but I like the idea of being able to paint a display on an non-flat surface, for instance a globe or the outside wall of a building.   

       Another neat thing this would lend itself to is "patching" a bad spot on a screen. LCD pixels sometimes die, in this scheme you could actually touch up a bad pixel area with fresh paint and recalibrate.
krelnik, Dec 14 2004

       What if you live in an apartment and someone had painted a computer screen ont he other side of the wall you painted yuors on? Or am I completely missing the point? I never understood that wavelength thing.
EvilPickels, Dec 14 2004

       This idea: Rube goldberg (as in excessively complex mousetrap con-trap-tion) version of "Video Projector"?   

       How about silver paint, an upside down telly, and a big magnifying glass?
mr2560, Dec 14 2004

       With krelnik's extensions, this is a great idea. The paint could be self organising, each pixel assigning itself an address based on knowledge of its neigbours, using some sort of cellular algorithm. This way, the address needn't be broadcast for every pixel. Assuming some sort of raster, the signal might contain start of frame and start of line commands, with sequential data in the signal assumed to be for sequential pixels. This could be made more efficient using various encoding techniques. The bandwidth problem can be tackled further, by having clumps of pixels display the same information, possibly with built in anti-aliasing. I envisage the broadcast device (rf? infra-red?) having a fixed resolution, independent of the actual paint pixel distribution. The pixels would transform this to suit, based on their knowledge of which part of the display they occupy. Something like this will be baked eventually, but it awaits further developments in nano-technology or organic computing devices. I always liked the idea of a slower version, which self organises into an image, a fractal representation of which is encoded in each pixel. You paint your ceiling with some grey muck, and three days later it's organised itself into the Sistine Chapel.
goldilox, Mar 29 2005


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