We are so used to the grayscale E ink displays in our ereaders that we rarely think about how peculiar the technology really is. The information displayed on E ink screens are not composed of light, but physical microcapsules that rotate to create patterns on the screen. The patterns, or information, on the screen remain there until an electric pulse changes the patterns. This is why E ink screens are energy efficient and easily viewable even in direct sunlight.
You probably have seen small E ink displays in stores where product prices or other information is updated in real time. Displays can be tiny price tags or large boards.
In any case, commercial applications are not the only ones where E ink can be used. In San Diego, California, these displays are used for decorating a concrete car park building.
View the video below that shows how it looks like.
Very thin e-paper tiles have been attached to the outer walls of the car park building. These screens are wirelessly connected to a host computer that tells the screens what to do. Uebercall, the company behind concept, has designed 15 programs used to animate the tiles. The screens are powered by solar cells.
All this means that the animations can be seen during the daytime only when the screens have power and there is daylight for viewing the screens.
I wonder if it would be possible to create an effect that looks like the building was moving as you drive by? It would, of course, freak out the drivers on the highway next to the building, which wouldn’t be safe.