A group of scientists has created a line of ceramic, digital tiles that can change color, pattern, or play videos from a connected smartphone or tablet, effectively transforming a bedroom wall or ceiling into a massive cinema screen.
The LUMENTILE (Luminous Electronic Tile) project, which is based on photonics technology, combines the simplicity of a plain ceramic tile with sophisticated touch screen technology to create an interactive light source. The digital tile is made of ceramic, glass, and organic electronics. It includes structural materials, solid-state light sources, and electronics that can be controlled by a central computer, a smartphone, or a tablet.
This is the first time electronics and photonics have been embedded in ceramics or glass on a large scale. The tiles, which can play videos and display images, enable users to transform their walls into a large ‘cinema’ screen, with each A4-sized unit (297 x 210mm) acting as a pixel of the overall display. The digital tiles, which can be turned off to make a basic silver, black, or white color the default setting, have an on-board microcontroller and operate on an invisible lexical network to the user. LUMENTILE’s smart light management system, a new approach based on a light guiding slab and spatially selective light extraction, illuminates the surface of each tile uniformly and efficiently.