April 23, 2015
Google’s new projector technology is not the traditional blinding display that merely projects movies. It is designed to be more subtle to serve as a changing background to everyday life. The technology interacts with walls that are coated with photo-reactive paint. The projection system works similarly to e-ink technology, and an image would remain on the wall until a new image replaces it. The transparent photo-reactive paint can be used to turn any surface in a house or business into a screen.
The projector works by emitting a beam of light or a laser at the painted wall. The paint reacts to the light and adjusts to display the colors. That image would stay on the wall until the user projects an image with a computer or smartphone. The patent suggests the technology will be able to project images fast enough to support video.
Applications resemble something out of a futuristic movie. Because the paint is transparent, it could be used on any surface. There could be digital screens on walls, coffee tables, or even an entire house.
People could use these projections to mimic the seasons and the weather. They might also be able to decorate their house for different holidays by projecting images on the walls. Sports fans could have a huge wall-sized scoreboard in their house with updates from games.
Google has not confirmed whether it will actually develop the patent into a consumer product. In a statement to Quartz, Google said, “We hold patents on a variety of ideas — some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.”