The huge facade of a new rental car center at San Diego International Airport is now home to more than 2,000 E Ink tiles. Named Dazzle, the largest installation of E Ink's Prism technology to date – which uses technology similar to that found in e-readers, but adapted for architectural use – treats visitors and travelers to more than 15 custom animations created by artists.

The purpose of Dazzle, which was designed by Ueberal International in partnership with E Ink, was to bring the 1,600 ft (488 m) long facade of the airport's new Rental Car Center to life using sustainable, programmable technology. The installation is made up of 2,100 E Ink Prism film panels, transforming it into a huge animated mural that can be seen by airport visitors and motorists on Interstate 5 freeway and Pacific Coast highway.

Ueberal says that the permanent installation was inspired by a type of pattern camouflage developed by Norman Wilkinson and used during WWI to visually scramble the outlines of ships. Each parallelogram-shaped e-paper panel essentially acts as one pixel, and wirelessly receives display instructions from a computer brain programmed to deliver over 15 dynamic animations across the building's exterior, such as water ripples, moving traffic, dancing snowflakes and shifting geometric shapes.

The animations were designed by Ueberal artists Nikolaus Hafermaas, David Delgado, Dan Goods, and Jeano Erforth, and the airport says that the installation will not be used to display text or representational imagery, meaning adverts should not appear on the platform.

Given E Ink's low power requirements, and that a solar cell has been installed in each panel, the whole facade is reported to consume about as much power as a PC computer. If the support hardware is added in, then overall power consumption is claimed to amount to less that two flat-panel televisions.

As the Prism panels do not emit light, the artwork will be mostly active during daylight hours, but when day turns to night, the installation will display static graphic designs. You can see Dazzle doing its thing in the video demonstration below.

Source: San Diego Airport

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