Researchers at the University of Tokyo say they have created the world's thinnest transparent display by projecting images on soap film.


"It is common knowledge that the surface of soap bubble is a micro membrane," lead researcher Yoichi Ochiai wrote on his blog. "It allows light to pass through and displays the colour on its structure. We developed an ultra thin and flexible BRDF [bidirectional reflectance distribution function] screen using the mixture of two colloidal liquids."

The display uses a special combination of liquids to create a more durable bubble, but the main ingredient is still soap, according to BBC.

Ultrasonic vibrations are used to produce images on the screen and control its transparency and texture. Multiple bubbles can also be used together to display a 3D image.

"Our membrane screen can be controlled using ultrasonic vibrations. Membrane can change its transparency and surface states depending on the scales of ultrasonic waves," Ochiai explained. "The combination of the ultrasonic waves and ultra thin membranes makes more realistic, distinctive, and vivid imageries on screen. This system contributes to open up a new path for display engineering with sharp imageries, transparency, BRDF and flexibility."

Watch this video from Yoichi Ochiai, broadcast July 2, 2012.

(h/t: The Verge)