Large Image Display: The Stepford Wives: Blending Displays with Drapes

This single frame is taken from the 2004 film 'The Stepford Wives'. It has been greatly reduced in size from the original, in order to meet fair use guidelines.

It has been done so many times before, of course, but this image is still iconic in its simplicity and its implication. We are still a long way from this level of display technology, yet the concept is constantly captivating.

How do you hide a big-screen TV/monitor in a period property? Simple. You place a large, flat-screen monitor above the fireplace, dresses up in an elaborate frame, so it resembles a picture. You then command the TV to display an oil painting in vivid colours, so it looks real as an oil painting to casual inspecction. Yet, at the flick of a switch, the oils fade away, and real-time digital display commences.

At the end of the film or video feed, instead of fading back to black, the oils return to prominance, and it is a picture once again.

There are several potential ways this display is working. One of the simplest and most plausible is a colour e-paper display behind a completely transparent display medium. The e-paper handles the picture, 'refreshing' the colour display to a matt black when the layer in front, the graphical display is activated. As soon as that deactivates, the 'oil' is re-drawn. Simple, elegant, and still far beyond us.

Link: The Stepford Wives: Index of Stills

Link: The Stepford Wives (2004): A Plot Overview

Link: Site Shop > The Stepford Wives (2004)