Andrew's Blog

Ghost display

This is the project page for glow paint displays aka. “Ghost displays”. The term “Ghost display” is a reference to the first proof of concept that I had come across – the “Ghost Matrix” project.  The “ghost” is a reference to the effect that what we are exploiting, that fact that the glow paint continues to emit light after it is exposed to UV light – an effect known as Phosphorescence. This effect can be exploited to draw text and images temporarily on to the screen.

Blog posts

Spindleumen – first post for the record player display

Spindleumen Video – plain video demo of the screen in operation

Rename and Release – Future post; new project name, source code release and instructions. Possibly a better video.

Spindleumen Todo List

  • finish tidying the computer side code
  • Slow down rotation speed
  • Allow the rotation speed to be varied
  • Record a clear video of the screen in action
  • Replace the under mat write medium with a rigid disk of write medium (warping is becoming an issue)
  • Implement XML settings (XML Font file, XML settings file)
  • investigate moving to V-USB (replace serial interface) Not really any reason to do this.
  • Release
  • Record a better video
  • Multiple resolution compatibility. Currently handles 8 pixel high stylus – needs to be tested with fewer and greater pixels (I envisage no problems)
  • Release the associated programs and compiled binaries
  • Make a media player plug in (stream Artist, Track, or other data to the screen)
  • Introduce more modes, such as “dock stylus” (I.e. move stylus off the write medium), “bar graph“, “line graph” and others (suggestions welcome…).


To be released soon; provisional software release is sometime in Summer 2012. Further documentation (like circuit diagrams, tutorials) to follow after that.

Development has been done in fits and bursts, when I have had the inclination. The project is currently nice and stable and has basic configuration and functionality that I would consider minimal for a hack-out-your-own project. Settings are “server side” in an XML document and very easy to edit. I’m pleased with the outcome so far, the most useful aspect is the font editor which saves time and effort designing fonts for the screen. It runs on Java 6 (will probably transition to Java 7 once it matures a little).


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