The TinyScreen has arrived. No, this is not another youtube video starring Chicken the tiny hamster eating tiny burritos while watching a tiny flat screen. The TinyScreen is an OLED display small enough to be worn on your wrist as watch face or perched on the edge of your non-Google glasses. It pairs with the TinyDuino platform, a arduino that has been miniaturized to approximately the size of a quarter, and the components can be stacked together to build a wide variety of small technologies.
TinyCircuits, a maker of open source electronics in Ohio, all of which are, not surprisingly, very small, introduced the TinyScreen. In order to move their idea from the drawing board to the market, they began a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to raise the $15,000 needed to make that jump. This isn’t the first time that they have looked to Kickstarter to help amass necessary funding. In 2012, they launched a TinyDuino project that garnered them 1000% beyond their initial funding goal. It looks as though this Kickstarter campaign is headed for the same type of success as they have already raised $50,288 and still have 19 days to go before the campaign closes.
Once you have assembled the pieces of the electronic device you want to create, you can go beyond the bare technology by 3D printing an enclosure that gives your creation a finished look. Whether you want to embed your tiny screens in jewelry or create an ergonomic casing for the gaming assembly, 3D printing is an ideal way to bring your vision to life. TinyCircuits founder, Ken Burns, immediately saw the appeal that 3D printed enclosures held and, in fact, the purchase of a TinyScreen kit comes with the 3D file needed to print out a watch enclosure.
The video created by TinyCircuits to accompany their Kickstarter campaign shows several other options for 3D printed enclosures. The most intriguing is the necklace that features a small cream colored square in which a movie is being projected via a tiny screen. This idea could very easily be translated into belts, buttons, or other accessories that could then project whatever visuals the user desired. These could easily become part of the latest offerings for 3D printed wearable technology chic.
The layer options available for addition to the TinyScreen so far are things such as accelerometers, ambient light sensors, audio outputs, storage, and WiFi. With the ability to reconnect and rearrange the layers as new uses strike your fancy, a similarly accessible manner for changing the outer shell makes this technology and 3D printing a perfect match. This will bring out the best and most creative ideas as people each address individual contexts they wish to created for the TinyScreen and begin to share those with each other.
As TinyCircuits is a strong advocate for open source technologies, there will no doubt be a strong support hub created in the near future for people to share their 3D printed TinyScreen enclosures, only further encouraging new ideas for uses. Have you backed this project on Kickstarter? What could you 3D print to go along with these screens? Discuss in the TinyScreen forum thread on 3DPB.com.