Researchers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have developed a transparent plastic sheet that can convert any window into a projector screen.
The stick-on plastic screens are embedded with silver nanoparticles, which reflect blue light and are invisible to the naked eye. They currently show one colour, but there are plans to advance the technology so that it supports full-colour images.
Unlike rival technologies, the screens are relatively cheap. “We were trying to achieve something that was particularly simple to implement, cheap and scalable,” explained MIT professor Marin Soljacic.
Potential applications include projecting product information and advertisements on store windows and service updates on train windows. The technology could also be applied to car windscreens.
“We can envision that people will go to convenience stores to buy these sheets of plastic, go home and then put them on their windows or wherever they want to project images,” said Chia Wei Hsu, a graduate student at MIT. “They will be able to turn that transparent glass into something that is useful, such as a display.”
See the Stylus report Transparent Futures for more on emerging innovations in transparent materials.