UbiChromics: Enabling Ubiquitously Deployable Interactive Displays with Photochromic Paint
Pervasive and interactive displays promise to present our digital content seamlessly throughout our environment. However, traditional display technologies do not scale to room-wide applications due to high per-unit-area costs and the need for constant wired power and data infrastructure. This research proposes the use of photochromic paint as a display medium. Applying the paint to any surface or object creates ultra-low-cost displays, which can change color when exposed to specific wavelengths of light. We develop new paint formulations that enable wide area application of photochromic material. Along with a specially modified wide-area laser projector and depth camera that can draw custom images and create on-demand, room-wide user interfaces on photochromic enabled surfaces. System parameters such as light intensity, material activation time, and user readability are examined to optimize the display. Results show that images and user interfaces can last up to 16 minutes and can be updated indefinitely. Finally, usage scenarios such as displaying static and dynamic images, ephemeral notifications, and the creation of on-demand interfaces, such as light switches and music controllers, are demonstrated and explored. Ultimately, the UbiChromics system demonstrates the possibility of extending digital content to all painted surfaces.