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Color Reflective Electronic Skin

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000167489D
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-15
Document File: 4 page(s) / 200K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Bistable cholesteric liquid crystal films that can be switched to different colors are used as a skin or layer on the surface of devices to convey information, change the aesthetics or appearance of the device.

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Application Concept

Kent Display, Inc.

343 Portage Blvd.

Kent

OH 44240

Title:  Color Reflective Electronic Skin

Field of the Application:

Bistable cholesteric liquid crystal films that can be switched to different colors are used as a skin or layer on the surface of devices to convey information, change the aesthetics or appearance of the device.

Background of the Concept:

Consumers frequently identify color as a necessity for several types of products, such as; clothing, accessories, personally worn electronics, medical indicators, and decorative items. The color on these items is defined on the product when purchased, up until now there is no way to change the color of these items after the initial purchase. There are other products that do incorporate a color change indicator for either a sensorial signal to indicate the product is properly working or to indicate the user’s attention is required. Several personal care products use a change in color to indicate that the product is working, such as but not limited to; a sunscreen lotion that changes from a bright color to clear once rubbed into the skin and  a skin mask that turns blue when it is time for the consumer to removed it (6,733,766 B2). Several indicator products such as but not limited to; battery testers (7,188,996 B2), and self expiring security badges (6,752,430 B2).  

Disclosure of the Concept:

We disclose an electronically switchable color overlay referred to in this paper as electronic skin that can be placed on anything.  Electronic skin is a sheet of flexible material that can be formed into a sleeve or have adhesive on the back to form a sticker of changeable color to be placed on any item the user desires a different color. This invention will allow consumers to individualize anything that they would like by adding a personalized color to the item of interest. Several possible items to attach electronic skin to are described in the Examples. The reflection of the front surface of the electronic skin can be shiny like plastic or can have varied textures to the front surface reflection.

Electronic skin encompasses a bistable cholesteric display cell made of  stacked layers to create a multitude of colors as described for example in US Patents  6,654,080 , 6,377,321 and 7,061,559 .  These patents describe cholesteric displays that can create a full color image that remains on the display without applied power until erased and addressed with a new image.  The stacked displays creating electronic skin are in the form of a film or sheet and may be of only one pixel; that is, the entire surface of the display changes from on color to another, or may be of multiple pixels that create a decorative image with the intent to further personalize the device.  The color of the layers making up the entire electronic skin package may be somet...