Innovators have combine printing technology with age-old optics.

Amid the hype of 3-D printers like MakerBot, Disney researchers in Pittsburgh have released research and a new concept that combines 3-D printers and optics to revolutionize the way in which objects interact with users. Scientists Karl D.D. Willis, Eric Brockmeyer, Scott E. Hudson, and Ivan Poupyrev are using solid-state prototypes with geometrically designed internal patterns to channel light from an LED source, transporting optical and sensory information. What this means is touch sensitive objects can be designed with sensors and other components embedded into the design. Instead of assembling individual parts to create working technology, all of the technological capabilities would be printed into the object in layers.

READ THIS ARTICLE FOR $15
$15 provides access to this article and every case-study, interview, and analysis piece that we publish for the next 30 days. Our Premium Subscription also provides access to a database of over 100,000 articles on innovation in brand, customer, and retail experience.
Already a subscriber? Log in