Imagine if you could change the color of your car in an instant... except the car is a circle 1 cm in diameter, and the instant is more like a few seconds.
by Leo Lahti, Ada Ala-härkönen, Jamin Hu
Chameleons have the ability to change their color at will and even create intricate patterns. The closest thing we have to a car, a wall, or anything being able to change its color in that way currently, are common-place e-readers that can change between white and black. Color e-readers are out there, but new and thus rare. To approach the color changing car fantasy with a different approach, we decided to use of a thermochromic piece of material and a thermistor to create a circular demo pixel, the color of which could be controlled with a 3-way toggle switch.
Thermochromism + Thermistor = Thermopixel
A thermochromic material is one that changes its own apparent color depending on its own temperature, and a thermistor is essentially a resistor that can have its temperature actively monitored and controlled. Now you stick these two components together literally, and you'll get the thermopixel, where you can actively monitor and control the temperature of the thermochromic material to appear a specific color