Videowall technology coming to the home
A ceramic tile has been created by a group of Italian scientists which can change colour, pattern, or even play videos with a single tap of the finger. Called Lumentile, each tile measures the size of A3 paper, and acts as a touchscreen which can be controlled by a smart phone, tablet or PC.
Lumentiles can create a range of shapes, and can be used to cover an entire wall, much like an LED videowall. The technology can also be used outdoors, as either flat or curved tiles to fit around columns or uneven surfaces.
Lumentiles use of photonics technology combines a ceramic tile with touchscreen technology to create a light source.
"It may sound like the stuff of James Bond but external tiles would create a ‘chameleonic skin’ or instant camouflage," says project coordinator Professor Guido Giuliani. "Although we are a long way off this yet, this would allow a car or building to blend completely into its surroundings, and hence ‘disappear’," he added.
In the future the tiles come be installed as part of a smart home project. Advantages of the technology include ensuring the security (the tiles could act as a burglar alarm) and safety (an alarm is set off if an elderly relative falls down) of homeowners.
Although these tiles cannot be purchased yet, they hope to be available to users in two years, with mass production by the end of 2020.
Lumentile received a grant of more than €2,400,000 from the Horizon 2020 program via the Photonics Public Private Partnership. Created in Italy by the Universita Degli Studi Di Pavia, the Lumentile project also has a number of European partners from Finland, Switzerland and Spain.