Lighting firm PolyPhotonix has worked with a London artist to create a “300 Year Time Bomb”.
Diego Trujillo’s installation is on display at London’s Royal College of Art this week, and has used the Durham firm’s organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) to explore the relationship between time and technology. The timer on the bomb ticks down from 300 years in seconds, displaying the vast number of seconds such a device would have to tick down until it exploded. The OLEDs are used to light the countdown typeface, as Trujillo wanted a set-up that required very little power.
He said: “Two hundred years ago, people lit a candle when they returned from work and went to bed when it burned out, but technology now has a huge influence on how we perceive time.
“If the bomb were found 100 years from now and safely stored for historical significance, by the time it exploded, the passage of time and use of electronics will have changed its nature from a threat to a spectacular display.”
OLEDs are largely used in smaller devices such as PDAs, digital cameras and mobile phones, but PolyPhotonix has recently secured more than £1m in project funding to develop them for other applications. The company has done so with help from Enterprise Europe Network North East at the Centre for Process Innovation, and has tapped into funding including Technology Inspired Innovation and SBRI grants from the Technology Strategy Board.
PolyPhotonix director Richard Kirk said: “Not only has Enterprise Europe Network North East enabled us to continue to explore OLED technology for innovative areas such as architecture and automotive features, but their support has allowed us to become one of the first companies in the UK to develop a platform process capability that will permit the high- volume manufacture of commercial OLED’s at a low cost and hence, further grow our IP portfolio.”
PolyPhotonix is hoping to pioneer the early adoption of organic light, which is efficient as well as flat, flexible and remaining cool in use.
Kirk added: “This is one of the first times OLED technology has been used in an art piece and provides excellent way of displaying how much brighter, thinner, lighter and energy-efficient OLED technology is in comparison to more traditional LED and LCD displays.”
Trujillo’s installation will be on display until July 1 as part of the Royal College of Art’s Show RCA 2012.