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Tiny, levitating balls make up this weird ‘JOLED’ display


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LCDs are old hat, my friend. What you need is dozens of tiny spheres levitated and spun using ultrasonics. That’s what researchers at the Universities of Sussex and Bristol have cooked up, and it’s exactly as weird as you think. Though not as weird as this sweating robot.

The display uses “Janus objects” as “physical voxels” with “acoustic levitation.” That about sums it up, right? Well, maybe it could use a bit more detail.

The Janus objects are basically tiny polystyrene beads. They’re held in midair by opposing ultrasound forces being emitted from speakers above and below; each bead has its own little ultrasound pocket it sits in. By modulating the sound, that pocket can be moved around, changing the position of the bead.

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