LED Contact Lenses

Another day, another step closer to the world of sci-fi movies… I saw an article this week on the Elemental LED blog about electronic contact lenses that would allow wearers to view dynamically constructed images on the surface of their eyes. The work, much of which has been occurring at the University of Washington, has been underway for a while (for instance, here is an article from 2008 that gives some more details about the tecnology), but it is a great example of some cutting edge research pathways that I am really excited about for the next few years, including energy harvesting, micro-scale electronics, and bio-compatible systems. I think we are probably a long way away from seeing anything like this on the market but even the progress to date opens up worlds of possibilities. Heads-up displays, indeed.

Dot Matrix Fountain Display

The Osaka Station City shopping mall complex in Osaka, Japan opened a few months ago with a really cool fountain display as one of the features:

(the video gets a little repetitive although the kids’ reactions towards the end are fun)

The fountain works on the same principle as a dot matrix printer – a matrix of solenoid-controlled valves block or release drops or streams of water to create the images. The display is controlled by a PC and with the appropriate image processing algorithm(s), it can be pretty simple to have it display whatever graphic you like. In Osaka, it shows the time and some other pertinent information but also some nice nature and music images and animations. It’s a great example of using technology to fuse art and functionality – I’d love to try to make one myself!

More Floating Orbs!

My floating orb obsession was definitely picqued when I found this project by a student from Clark University. The video quality isn’t the greatest but the idea definitely comes through. Pretty cool concept. If you’re interested here’s the project poster for the piece.