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August 2009
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Electronic Display Made From Gutted Mood Rings

watertestScientists have developed an incredibly cheap method to build an electronic display.  They made it out of electric wiring, paper, and the thermochromic ink found in mood rings.  The result is a foldable, color-changing display.

There isn’t really any major technological developments involved.  The ink changes color depending on its temperature.  By evenly layering the ink across paper, and adjusting the ink’s temperature via various electric voltages, the appearance of the paper can be altered.

At the moment, this is really just a proof of concept.  It’s planned use is for integrated displays in affordable scientific tools, such as a water tester.  But what if the technology was refined and used as a cheaper alternative to an E-Ink display?  A fine tuned electric grid placed across a thermochromic surface could create a durable, relatively inexpensive, dynamic display.  The refresh rate wouldn’t be fast enough to be a computer monitor, but it could work as an eReader.

Such an application is probably unlikely due to the long head start of eInk technology, but display is fairly cool nonetheless.  If you want, you can try to build one yourself, but I’ll warn you that the paper can get a bit technical.

2 comments to Electronic Display Made From Gutted Mood Rings

  • It’s an interesting idea that has merit, but I don’t see a screen that is controlled by temperature working very well, especially when it comes to extreme environments, like my car in the middle of winter when I’m waiting for the windshield to thaw out from the most recent freezing rain storm. (That is the longest sentence I have written today and I take it as proof that I have been awake far longer than I should.)

  • Al

    Remember the laser? It was invented with no use and was very expensive. Now they are very inexpensive and everywhere. Don’t discount any proof of concept technology, we never know where or when it will prove of great value.

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