SBIR Phase I: Vivid pixel array for reflective, full-color digital signage

Period of Performance: 01/01/2016 - 06/30/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Solchroma Technologies Inc
32 Appleton St Array
Somerville, MA 02144
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project has three outcomes. Commercially, the introduction of the developed technology will capture a significant fraction of the $12.6B billboard and sign manufacturing market, contributing to its expansion and that of related markets such as indoor signage and architectural aesthetics. Environmentally, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions  will be realized as the technology will consume up to 100x less energy relative to existing LED array-based digital signage. Additional reductions in physical waste will be considerable for locations switching from conventional printed materials to digital. Scientifically, advancing dielectric elastomer processing and fabrication with a commercial focus will contribute to overcoming technological hurdles preventing their commercial adoption in other fields. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project evaluates the feasibility of constructing prototype dielectric elastomer-based display modules on a commercially relevant scale. Processing and fabrication constraints currently inhibit rapid commercial growth of dielectric elastomer technology in the marketplace at a time when it is beginning to prove itself in niche markets such as audio-related haptics and laser speckle reduction. Through studying the feasibility of constructing a redesigned pixel, its ability to scale to array sizes acceptable for large-area digital signage, and its performance, a clearer determination of customer acceptance will be obtained. Successful completion of these objectives will result in a scalable, full-color, reflective display module, and de-risk the fabrication processes involved in manipulating hydrostatically-coupled dielectric elastomers on scales relevant for large-area applications.