I am quite sure that as a kid, you had your fair share of fun with those soap bubbles. These days, I see automated soap bubble blowers – even your kids need not build up their lung power any more, as all they need to do is dip the dipstick into a bottle of soap, pick it up, press a button and a built-in fan will do all of the blowing. Dogs and cats have had fun chasing down after these bubbles, and so did kids. Who would have figured out even remotely that the humble soap bubble could eventually be used as a display of some sort?

In fact, it has already picked up the moniker of being the ‘world’s thinnest display’ along the way, coined by no one else other than the team behind this transparent screen. This is made possible thanks to the research team who came up with new technology that is capable of projecting images onto a screen that is made up of nothing else but soap film. Just how does this work? We shall take a closer look after the jump to find out.

Basically, this international team managed to come up with this particular display by relying on ultrasonic sound waves that will change the film’s properties, resulting in either a flat or a 3D image. As for the bubble mixture used, you can say that it is somewhat akin to the one sold in stores for little kids, albeit with a far more complex chemical make up.

The team is quick off the mark to claim this as the world’s thinnest transparent screen, so you can more or less kiss those ultra slim Samsungs and LGs goodbye from their once lofty pedestals. Lead researcher, Yoichi Ochiai from the University of Tokyo, wrote, “It is common knowledge that the surface of soap bubble is a micro membrane. 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, a four-dimensional function defining how light is reflected at an opaque surface] screen using the mixture of two colloidal liquids.”

No idea on when a commercially available version will arrive.


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