An international team of researchers have developed innovative new technology that could help consumers to watch films on soap bubbles. In a recent blog post, lead researcher Yoichi Ochiai from the University of Tokyo, explained that the team had discovered a way to project images on a screen made of soap film.
To achieve this, the researchers used ultrasonic sound in order to alter the properties of films and create an image. Soap is the main ingredient of this fascinating new approach, according to the research team, who claimed that the display is the world's thinnest transparent screen.
"It is common knowledge that the surface of soap bubble is a micro membrane. It allows light to pass through and displays the colour on its structure," he said. "We developed an ultra-thin and flexible BRDF [bidirectional reflectance distribution function, a four-dimensional function defining how light is reflected at an opaque surface] screen using the mixture of two colloidal liquids."
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Alexis Oyama from the Carnegie Mellon University explained that the researchers successfully exploited the properties of the film by striking the membrane of the bubbles using ultrasonic sound. Sonic waves, created by playing speakers, are able to alter the texture of a projected image.
"Typical screens will show every image the same way, but images should have different visual properties," he said. "For example, a butterfly's wings should be reflective and a billiard ball should be smooth, and our transparent screen can change the reflection in real time to show different textures."
He added, in fact, that simply by putting together several bubble screens, consumers will be able to enjoy a 3D image and even a hologram. There are several proposed uses for the new technology, with the research team suggesting that it could be utilized by artists to make their work seem even more realistic.