Projecting onto bubbles opens doors for interactive, 3D, flexible displays

Images and film have been projected onto bubbles in a move that could have a significant effect on the live events and visitor attraction industries. Soap film, used by a researcher at the University of Tokyo, is being dubbed as the world's thinnest screen and could be employed to create illusionary-type images, similar to those produced using the Pepper's ghost technique

Yoichi Ochiai, from the University of Tokyo has worked with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Tsukuba to demonstrate how ultrasonic sound waves can control the transparency of the bubble, which is created from a colloidal solution. The transparent properties of the film can be utilised to create a 3D screen using multiple membranes but one projector.

Controlling the transparency means surface texture and reflectance can be altered to create realistic material surfaces.

Furthermore, objects can be passed through the screen without breaking the membrane opening the doors to interactive applications.

The team will present the new technology in August at Siggraph 2012, Los Angeles, USA.

Further information can be found on Yoichi Ochiai’s blog