Once upon a time I read about Bill Gates’ smart house. And I thought: how nice would it be to have the curtains close and open automatically? Then I thought, why use curtains? Just put a big liquid crystal display (LCD) screen in the window, and use that to enable or disable the light.
Those were the days of the single LCD TV standing prominently in the big mall with a multi-thousand dollar price tag below it, so I laughed at the idea and forgot about it.
Fast forward 20 years.
Today I wanted to take a nap, and wondered how good it would be to be able to just flip a switch and turn off that annoying sun. The old idea came back. The difference is, today window-sized LCD screens are dirt cheap. People throw these TVs into the garbage once the batteries in the remote run out.
Some googling showed that there is pretty much nothing like the LCD curtains I was imagining. Some frosted/clear switchable “smart glass” and some aerospace stuff, but nothing that lets you flip a switch and block out the sunshine.
So, I dug up a screen panel from a broken laptop.