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Virtual Dictionary

Piezo Phototronics

Piezo phototronics are in essence, a way of directly turning movement into an information signal. They are a variation on of piezoelectric power – materials which convert movement within their structure into electrical current – that then run that current through a process that turns it into a specific light pattern relative to electrical pattern produced.

The advantage is of course, that it is a great deal easier to interpret fine movements in a pattern of light than in an electrical pattern – you don't have to compute the pattern of the electricity produced in order to convert it to a light pattern, but photosensitive materials can quickly and relatively easily break that light pattern down into an intensity texturemap.

It is an ideal partnership for many forms of augmented reality interface and even virtual reality interface. Because the bulk of the process is essentially a material sandwich – piezoelectric material, light conversion material, photo-sensitive material and interwoven electronic circuitry – it would be quite possible to wear articles of skin-tight clothing that then function as an almost perfect motion capture system.

No external cameras required, and every tiny movement captured by the piezoelectric material band, then converted into a precise picture of that movement in a quite literal way.

It offers the potential for a motion capture system of such a level of detail as to be practically unprecedented. The potential uses in everything from avatar control to diagnosis of movement disorders quickly become obvious.

See Also: Piezoelectric, Piezoelectricity, Texturemap, Height Map

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Authorities in Toulouse in the south-west of France are considering a proposal to install "pavement power" technology that would use the energy provided by pedestrians to generate electricity to run the street lamps. A trial section of ei...

Berkeley Lab scientists have discovered a way to use piezoelectricity — the conversion of mechanical force to electricity and vice versa — with a single layer of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) semiconductor molecules, which could lead to nanot...

By reversing a process that converts electrical signals into sounds heard out of a cell phone, researchers may have a new tool to enhance the way computer chips, LEDs and transistors are built.

Lawrence Livermore National Lab...

Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have succeeded in producing a prototype of a vibration-damping material that could change the world of mechanics forever. The material of the future is not only able to damp vibrations completely; it can...

Princeton and Caltech researchers have developed special silicone rubber sheets with embedded nanorods that, when bent, generate electricity with impressive efficiency. The technology is projected to be used as a power source for implantabl...