A Taiwanese company that has developed ‘electronic ink’ technology as used in computer tablets and other digital devices, has just announced a new use for its technology that may transform the way designers and architects use spaces and building materials.

E Ink’s new ‘Prism’ electronic ink technology is now available for use on various building surfaces such as walls, floors, ceilings, screens and even furniture.

In short, all these building surfaces can now be programmed to change colour, mood and visual appearance according to the programmer’s wishes, or to respond to various interactive and external stimuli such as movement, temperature, sound, touch, and more.

So with the Prism technology incorporated into walls or spaces, the colour of the walls in your living room might change colour according to the music you’re playing or the people you want to entertain or welcome to an event, or you can ‘project’ logos, directional signage, images, movies or pretty much anything with a visual component in it that can be represented digitally.

It’s a concept that is limited only by a designer’s imagination, and may do away with conventional signs and static colour treatments in a lot of buildings, both residential and commercial.

According to the manufacturers, the Prism technology is fully programmable, provides a paint-like, reflective surface that is pleasing to the eye, and consumes a relatively low amount of power during image changes, requiring no electrical outlets.

‘Prism will transform architecture products to make them come alive,’ claim the manufacturers.

‘This is one of many applications where the technology can disrupt a market, the same way it revolutionised the reading market.

‘Commercial lobbies, airport terminals, and public auditoriums can now automatically change colour and enhance the human sensory experience.

‘Customer reception areas will be more interesting and visually exciting, retailers can build dynamic staging elements for their marketing campaigns, and exhibitors can maximise presentations to boost visitor engagement.’