Use Sunlight To Create 3D Animations On Your Walls

Lightbyte is a new projection technology that makes wallpaper pale in comparison.

Interactive designer and MIT Media Lab PhD candidate Sheng-Ying Pao has combined the natural world with digital technology to create Lightbyte, a nuanced projection device that modifies sunlight to create interactive displays on your walls. Not only can the rays be molded into "intricate shapes," but light and shadow entering the room can be turned into 2D, 3D and even potentially even 4D animation. Who needs wallpaper when you've got something like Lightbyte?

Pao calls Lightbyte a “kinetic interactive communication channel,” meaning it reacts to movement, digital messages, and sketches. A demonstration shows how a sketcher with a connected pen can toss her doodle onto the wall, and how an email could be projected on the wall as it comes in. It works by implementing two walls, one with cells that block or let in light, and the other that displays the resulting “shadow message” via alternating sunlit/shadow blocks. 

Pao imagines her project applied to entertainment, advertising, and workplace communication. iF Design saw Lightbyte's potential too: the online design exhibition gave Pao's project their 2014 iF Communication Design Award. It’s an energy efficient alternative to a neon sign, and clearly way more exciting than your average whiteboard.