MIT scientists have turned graffiti into interactive surfaces. They can be used in homes to set up lights or electronic appliances.
Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a way to create interactive surfaces using airbrushing paints. SprayableTech allows users to create interactive room-sized graphics with sensors and displays that can be applied to everything from walls to furniture. Drawings can, for example, be used to turn on and off the light.
After designing an interactive picture using a 3D editor, the system generates stencils for airbrushing the layout on the surface. Then a series of ink is applied – conductive copper ink, paint, dielectric, phosphorus, copper bus and a transparent conductor. A microcontroller is connected to the entire system, which connects the interface to the board, it runs the code for reading and output.
The system is mostly designed at the stencil stage – researchers must make sure that the ink is placed in the right places and can be properly connected to the microcontroller. The team is currently working on modular stencils, potentially allowing users to try out the system at home without having to use a 3D editor or cut stencils on their own.
“We see this as a tool that will allow users to interact with the environment and use it in a new way. In the future, we intend to collaborate with graffiti artists and architects to explore the potential of large-scale user interfaces that can be used in interactive and smart homes”, the researchers noted.