Cloth Displays

L. Van Warren
Warren Design Vision

The Goal

I would like a special kind of cloth that could be used as a display. A large display. A flexible display. A display woven of tiny threads, each consisting of tiny beads. To make a screen that was flexible and cheap like cloth. Just as printing technology lead to inexpensive solid state circuits, weaving technology can lead to flexible, low cost displays of large surface area. Words get overloaded these days. I want to tell you about my idea, but some first some:


"thread", as in a piece of sewing thread

"flexible", as in a foldable, bendable piece of cloth

"bead", a small point-like element, capable of manifesting a color


A bead element exists that can produce all the colors of the rainbow.

We can connect these beads by a thread such that there is a gap or space between each bead approximately one bead in length.

Ok, now for the idea. What if we wove a material that was a sequence of these threads, like this:

If we had such a cloth, it would be very useful. We could use it to have this conversation. It could hang like curtains, or flat like wallpaper. Perhaps it could even be made into clothes. Imagine two people realizing that they've worn the same clothes to a party. One of them clicks a button. New clothes. Now the problem would be wearing the same pattern sequence to the party. Some things never change. Oh well.

It would be nice if an entire wall of a room could be such a display. A television, a movie, a set of computer windows and so on. You get the idea. Why should any wall be barren, or any bedspread for that matter. Shouldn't the ceiling and walls all be reconfigurable images? If you get overloaded like I do sometimes, you could make them a natural scene. If you get really overloaded, you could make them blank again, that's easy.
The wall could be a giant map one moment, the "Three Stooges" the next. Wouldn't that be great? It could be a telephone window. It could be a fake window pretending that the weather is nice outside. It could be an apparent window with 6 centimeters of Kevlar shielding behind it. It could be the walls of your room from womb to tomb with images of my ancestors smiling.

I want to see this happen. I have a three ways in mind of accomplishing this technically and at least one of them involves the Japanese. I do not yet know which of the three ways would be most popular. We need to do all three to find out which is best.

Each bead must receive power.
Each bead must receive data.
Each bead must know it's address in the x, y grid.

That's it.