Researchers at MIT have invented an ink that can "reprogrammed" using a light projector.
The ink — named PhotoChromeleon — is made using photochromic dye, which changes color when exposed to UV light. The researchers mix three different colors of the dye (cyan, magenta, and yellow) with car laquer. Then they combine all three.
The resultant mixture is sprayed onto an object, a phone case or example, and then placed in front of a light projector. The researchers design patterns on 3D computer models, and project the desired pattern onto the object.
You can watch the ink in action here:
Not only can designs be projected onto the objects, they can be erased and re-designed just as easily.
The scientists give an example of how this could be useful in their paper: "in clothing, accessories could be altered to match the main outfit and textiles could be recolored for different events in the same day," they write.
They hope to eventually combine the technology with 3D printing.