http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/24/13740946/dutch-scientists-use-color-changing-graphene-bubbles-to-create-mechanical-pixels shows how graphene can be used to make displays with each pixel changing colour according to mechanical deformation.
Meanwhile, Lexus have just created a car with a shell covered in LEDs so it can act as a massive display.
In 2014 I wrote about using polymer LED displays for future Minis so it’s nice to see another prediction come true.
Looking at the mechanical pixels though, it is clear that mechanical pixels could respond directly to sound, or to turbulence of passing air, plus other vibration that arises from motion on a road surface, or the engine. Car panel colours could change all the time powered by ambient energy. Coatings on any solid objects could follow, so people might have plenty of shimmering colours in their everyday environment. Could. Not sure I want it, but they could.
With sound as a control system, sound wave generators at the edges or underneath such surfaces could produce a wide variety of pleasing patterns. We could soon have furniture that does a good impression of being a cuttlefish.
I often get asked about smart makeup, on which I’ve often spoken since the late 90s. Thin film makeup displays could use this same tech. So er, we could have people with makeup pretending to be cuttlefish too. I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.