New wonder material replaces graphene for future electronic devices | KurzweilAI
Entirely new kinds of devices —- entire walls of light, smart windows, eyeglass displays, complex electronic circuits —- from new 2D molybdenum disulfide: MIT researchers
MIT researchers — who struggled for several years to build electronic circuits out of graphene with very limited results (except for radio-frequency applications) — have now succeeded in making a variety of electronic components from an amazing new material: a 2D version of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2).
The MIT researchers say the material could help usher in radically new products, from whole walls that glow to clothing with embedded electronics to glasses with built-in display screens.

New wonder material replaces graphene for future electronic devices | KurzweilAI

Entirely new kinds of devices —- entire walls of light, smart windows, eyeglass displays, complex electronic circuits —- from new 2D molybdenum disulfide: MIT researchers

MIT researchers — who struggled for several years to build electronic circuits out of graphene with very limited results (except for radio-frequency applications) — have now succeeded in making a variety of electronic components from an amazing new material: a 2D version of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2).

The MIT researchers say the material could help usher in radically new products, from whole walls that glow to clothing with embedded electronics to glasses with built-in display screens.

Can 3D Printing Make Everything We Need? - PSFK
This article titled “Is 3D printing the key to Utopia?” was written by John Naughton, for The Observer on Saturday 12th May 2012 23.05 UTC
You know the problem: the dishwasher that has cleaned your dishes faithfully for 15 years suddenly stops working. You call out a repairman who identifies the problem: the filter unit has finally given up the ghost. “Ah,” you say, much relieved, “can you fit a new one?” At which point the chap shakes his head sorrowfully. No can do, he explains. The company that made the machine was taken over years ago by another outfit and they no longer supply spares for your ancient machine.
Up until now, this story would have had a predictable ending in which you sorrowfully junked your trusty dishwasher and bought a new one. But there’s an emerging technology that could change that. It’s called three-dimensional printing.
Eh? Surely printing is intrinsically a two-dimensional process, involving the squirting of coloured dyes on to flat sheets of paper? And indeed it is, so perhaps the use of the word “printing” in 3D printing is a bit naughty – which is why men in suits tends to call it “additive manufacturing”. But there is still a strong metaphorical correspondence between the 2D and 3D processes. In the former, we take an electronic representation of a document on a computer screen and output a replica of that on to paper; in the latter, we take a three-dimensional computer model of something and use printing-like technology to create a three-dimensional version of it in plastic or other materials.
It works like this: a designer uses computer-assisted design software to create a three-dimensional model of an object. Another program then “slices” the model into thin sections and instructs the “printer” to lay down an exact replica of the section in plastic (or other types of) granules which are then fused to become a solid layer. The process is repeated, slice by slice, until the entire object has been made.
via PSFK:

Can 3D Printing Make Everything We Need? - PSFK

This article titled “Is 3D printing the key to Utopia?” was written by John Naughton, for The Observer on Saturday 12th May 2012 23.05 UTC

You know the problem: the dishwasher that has cleaned your dishes faithfully for 15 years suddenly stops working. You call out a repairman who identifies the problem: the filter unit has finally given up the ghost. “Ah,” you say, much relieved, “can you fit a new one?” At which point the chap shakes his head sorrowfully. No can do, he explains. The company that made the machine was taken over years ago by another outfit and they no longer supply spares for your ancient machine.

Up until now, this story would have had a predictable ending in which you sorrowfully junked your trusty dishwasher and bought a new one. But there’s an emerging technology that could change that. It’s called three-dimensional printing.

Eh? Surely printing is intrinsically a two-dimensional process, involving the squirting of coloured dyes on to flat sheets of paper? And indeed it is, so perhaps the use of the word “printing” in 3D printing is a bit naughty – which is why men in suits tends to call it “additive manufacturing”. But there is still a strong metaphorical correspondence between the 2D and 3D processes. In the former, we take an electronic representation of a document on a computer screen and output a replica of that on to paper; in the latter, we take a three-dimensional computer model of something and use printing-like technology to create a three-dimensional version of it in plastic or other materials.

It works like this: a designer uses computer-assisted design software to create a three-dimensional model of an object. Another program then “slices” the model into thin sections and instructs the “printer” to lay down an exact replica of the section in plastic (or other types of) granules which are then fused to become a solid layer. The process is repeated, slice by slice, until the entire object has been made.

 MIT Engineers Design Fog-Free, Water-Repellent, Anti-Glare Glass

A new type of nano-structured glass can bounce water and dirt off its surface, cleaning itself and preventing fogging, according to MIT researchers. It eliminates glare, too, allowing light to penetrate with pure clarity. It could be used for anything from solar panels to future car windshields to new gadget screens. […]

[read more] [paper]

(via futurescope)

100-Mile Houses Expand the Locavore Movement From Food to Architecture - Design - GOOD
Briony Penn’s 100-mile house in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
The rise of the locavore movement introduced millions of people to the 100-mile diet,  which involves eating only food produced within one’s own region. Now, a  new focus on sustainable architecture is applying the same concept to  homes.
The idea of a 100-mile house shouldn’t be shocking:  Historically, most homes were made using local materials simply because  it was more practical. But in an age when even middle-class homeowners  can order marble countertops from Italy and bamboo floors from China,  creating a home entirely from local materials challenges builders to  carefully consider every piece of the structure, from the foundation to  the eaves.
Last week, the Architecture Foundation of British Columbia launched an international competition to design a 1,200-square-foot, four-person home that exclusively uses  materials made or recycled within 100 miles of Vancouver. David M.  Hewitt, the current chair of the Architecture Foundation, came up with  the idea for the competition on a whim and presented it at a board  meeting. “It was almost thrown out facetiously, and everybody latched  onto it,” he says

100-Mile Houses Expand the Locavore Movement From Food to Architecture - Design - GOOD

Briony Penn’s 100-mile house in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

The rise of the locavore movement introduced millions of people to the 100-mile diet, which involves eating only food produced within one’s own region. Now, a new focus on sustainable architecture is applying the same concept to homes.

The idea of a 100-mile house shouldn’t be shocking: Historically, most homes were made using local materials simply because it was more practical. But in an age when even middle-class homeowners can order marble countertops from Italy and bamboo floors from China, creating a home entirely from local materials challenges builders to carefully consider every piece of the structure, from the foundation to the eaves.

Last week, the Architecture Foundation of British Columbia launched an international competition to design a 1,200-square-foot, four-person home that exclusively uses materials made or recycled within 100 miles of Vancouver. David M. Hewitt, the current chair of the Architecture Foundation, came up with the idea for the competition on a whim and presented it at a board meeting. “It was almost thrown out facetiously, and everybody latched onto it,” he says

Bits meet bite: Check out the connected toothbrush | GigaOM
Want to really embrace the quantitative self? Forget tracking your sleep and start tracking your dental hygiene. Beam Technologies,  a year-old startup, is set to introduce a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush  and app that will launch next month. The toothbrush contains a sensor  and Bluetooth radio that will send your brushing information to a  smartphone app. Later versions will also track how long you spent in  certain areas of the mouth and might add some kind of gamification layer  to help encourage better brushing. Alex X. Frommeyer, the CEO and founder of Beam, says the Beam Brush  should hit shelves in early March and retail for about $50 for the base  and $3 for a replaceable brush head. The Android app is ready, and the  iOS app should be ready when the toothbrush launches or soon after.

Bits meet bite: Check out the connected toothbrush | GigaOM

Want to really embrace the quantitative self? Forget tracking your sleep and start tracking your dental hygiene. Beam Technologies, a year-old startup, is set to introduce a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush and app that will launch next month. The toothbrush contains a sensor and Bluetooth radio that will send your brushing information to a smartphone app. Later versions will also track how long you spent in certain areas of the mouth and might add some kind of gamification layer to help encourage better brushing. Alex X. Frommeyer, the CEO and founder of Beam, says the Beam Brush should hit shelves in early March and retail for about $50 for the base and $3 for a replaceable brush head. The Android app is ready, and the iOS app should be ready when the toothbrush launches or soon after.

Cufflinks with Wi-Fi hot spot turn you into a digital 007 | CNET
These silver oval ‘links keep your cuffs together without the  embarrassment of using some silly analog plastic buttons, and also  double as a USB thumbdrive with 2GB of storage and an embedded wireless  hot spot.
They can be used to share data and Internet access between smartphones, tablets, laptops, and just about anything else that’s USB- or wireless-compatible.

Cufflinks with Wi-Fi hot spot turn you into a digital 007 | CNET

These silver oval ‘links keep your cuffs together without the embarrassment of using some silly analog plastic buttons, and also double as a USB thumbdrive with 2GB of storage and an embedded wireless hot spot.

They can be used to share data and Internet access between smartphones, tablets, laptops, and just about anything else that’s USB- or wireless-compatible.


3D Printing On Street Corners: A Future Scenario? — The Pop-Up City

Rapid prototyping is still the domain of nerds, but it’s just a matter of time before 3D printers become mass consumer products. With its Kiosk project, Antwerp-based design studio Unfold explores a future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous that we see them appear on street corners, just like fast food is sold on the streets of New York City. 


The designers developed the concept for a mobile cart inspired by Bruce Sterling’s science fiction short story Kiosk and equipped with 3D printing technologies.
Advanced

via futuramb:

3D Printing On Street Corners: A Future Scenario? — The Pop-Up City

Rapid prototyping is still the domain of nerds, but it’s just a matter of time before 3D printers become mass consumer products. With its Kiosk project, Antwerp-based design studio Unfold explores a future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous that we see them appear on street corners, just like fast food is sold on the streets of New York City. 

The designers developed the concept for a mobile cart inspired by Bruce Sterling’s science fiction short story Kiosk and equipped with 3D printing technologies.

Advanced

via futuramb:

Meanwhile, Mark Rolston of frog design (which famously helped design the original Macintosh) talked about how computers and other advanced technology are already beginning to disappear into our surroundings and devices, and that he expects this to accelerate in the future. Rolston said that it doesn’t take much to think about combining voice technology, like the kind Apple has in Siri, with the kind of processing power we have now to create a computer that uses any available surface (a wall, a mirror, etc.) as a screen.

Rolston imagines an extension of the kind of physical interface that Microsoft’s Kinect uses, where gestures and even facial recognition could be used to control all kinds of processes or devices and where computing power behind the scenes would allow us to interact with our homes in different ways. Computers would become “externalized resources in a room.” In that kind of environment, Rolston said, “I can talk at it and wave at it, and maybe I have a keyboard or maybe there are screens or cameras around, but [the computers] compose in the moment as we need them.”

Future gadget batteries could last 10 times longer | GigaOm
Batteries continue to be the bane of mobile devices, but research done at Northwestern University could change that with longer lasting batteries that charge in minutes, not hours.  The new science shouldn’t increase the size of batteries, but instead  modifies the chemical reaction that takes place inside lithium-ion power  packs, allowing for 10 times the capacity, says PC Mag.  Don’t run out to the store looking for these batteries just yet,  though: They’re not expected to hit the market for 3 to 5 years.
According to Northwestern’s Professor Harold Kung, the longer-lasting  batteries take advantage of two new processes. First, the number of  lithium-ion atoms in the battery’s electrode are boosted by using  silicon in place of carbon between sheets of graphene in the battery. It  sounds complicated, but the gist is this: Silicon works 24 times more  efficiently with lithium ions compared to carbon, which is used in  traditional batteries.
Second, the research team scored the graphine sheets with microscopic  holes, allowing the lithium ions to travel faster within the battery.  These techniques improve both the recharge time and density of lithium  ions, which equates to longer-lasting batteries with fast recharge  times; perhaps as little as 15 minutes.

Future gadget batteries could last 10 times longer | GigaOm

Batteries continue to be the bane of mobile devices, but research done at Northwestern University could change that with longer lasting batteries that charge in minutes, not hours. The new science shouldn’t increase the size of batteries, but instead modifies the chemical reaction that takes place inside lithium-ion power packs, allowing for 10 times the capacity, says PC Mag. Don’t run out to the store looking for these batteries just yet, though: They’re not expected to hit the market for 3 to 5 years.

According to Northwestern’s Professor Harold Kung, the longer-lasting batteries take advantage of two new processes. First, the number of lithium-ion atoms in the battery’s electrode are boosted by using silicon in place of carbon between sheets of graphene in the battery. It sounds complicated, but the gist is this: Silicon works 24 times more efficiently with lithium ions compared to carbon, which is used in traditional batteries.

Second, the research team scored the graphine sheets with microscopic holes, allowing the lithium ions to travel faster within the battery. These techniques improve both the recharge time and density of lithium ions, which equates to longer-lasting batteries with fast recharge times; perhaps as little as 15 minutes.

Jawbone UP Bracelet (by GadgetWiki)

With smartphones becoming such a key part of our lives, it’s scarcely surprising that there is now an app that plays our conscience-keeper in matters of our health and fitness. The Jawbone UP comprises a wristband and an app on your iPhone or iPod touch (the device must run iOS 4.1 or higher). The wristband senses one’s motion as well as inactivity.

Recycling Around the World

November 15 is America Recycles Day, an annual event launched in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition. The need to reuse and recycle raw materials has never been as urgent as it is today. The human race has reached a worldwide population of 7 billion, and America is responsible for consuming a disproportionate share of the planet’s resources. In many parts of the world, recycling is done by necessity. In others, artists, governments, and businesses have found creative and useful ways to reuse materials — a plastic bottle may find itself reborn as artwork, a warm blanket, or fuel oil. Collected here are photographs of various recycling efforts around the world, ranging from small and whimsical to industrial in scale.
Above: A laborer rests on piles of plastic bottles at a recycling center in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China, on November 6, 2011. (Reuters/Stringer)

See more vivid photos at In Focus
via theatlantic:

Recycling Around the World

November 15 is America Recycles Day, an annual event launched in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition. The need to reuse and recycle raw materials has never been as urgent as it is today. The human race has reached a worldwide population of 7 billion, and America is responsible for consuming a disproportionate share of the planet’s resources. In many parts of the world, recycling is done by necessity. In others, artists, governments, and businesses have found creative and useful ways to reuse materials — a plastic bottle may find itself reborn as artwork, a warm blanket, or fuel oil. Collected here are photographs of various recycling efforts around the world, ranging from small and whimsical to industrial in scale.

Above: A laborer rests on piles of plastic bottles at a recycling center in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China, on November 6, 2011. (Reuters/Stringer)

See more vivid photos at In Focus

via theatlantic:

Will Cheap Computer Bridge India’s Digital Divide? : NPR
Indian students pose with the supercheap Aakash tablet computers, which  they received during the Oct. 5 product launch in New Delhi. The Indian  government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to college students  across India at a subsidized price of $35.

Will Cheap Computer Bridge India’s Digital Divide? : NPR

Indian students pose with the supercheap Aakash tablet computers, which they received during the Oct. 5 product launch in New Delhi. The Indian government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to college students across India at a subsidized price of $35.

Printable transistors usher in ‘internet of things’ | WSNblog
Thinfilm, a Norwegian developer of printable memory, has co-announced  with California’s PARC a development that takes a big step towards the  day when every manufactured object will report in to the internet.
Yes, the “internet of things” – the buzzword of the decade.
Thinfilm and PARC‘s  breakthrough is a technology that can print not only memory onto, well,  thin films, but can now also print transistors to address and manage  that memory.
Since 2006, Thinfilm has been producing low-capacity read/write printable memory, which has been used in such applications as personalized toys and games.
How low is “low-capacity”? Twenty bits – but although that may sound  meager, know that Thinfilm’s current products aren’t intended to store  an HD video of Laurence of Arabia, but instead, to hold identification and personalization information.
And to do so cheaply. Very cheaply. A few cents per unit cheaply.
Up until Friday’s announcement, Thinfilm’s non-volatile,  ferroelectric memory was completely passive – it just sat there, holding  those 20 bits in its memory cells. To be rewritten or read, it needed  to be accessed by an external device which used one access pad for each  memory cell.

Printable transistors usher in ‘internet of things’ | WSNblog

Thinfilm, a Norwegian developer of printable memory, has co-announced with California’s PARC a development that takes a big step towards the day when every manufactured object will report in to the internet.

Yes, the “internet of things” – the buzzword of the decade.

Thinfilm and PARC‘s breakthrough is a technology that can print not only memory onto, well, thin films, but can now also print transistors to address and manage that memory.

Since 2006, Thinfilm has been producing low-capacity read/write printable memory, which has been used in such applications as personalized toys and games.

How low is “low-capacity”? Twenty bits – but although that may sound meager, know that Thinfilm’s current products aren’t intended to store an HD video of Laurence of Arabia, but instead, to hold identification and personalization information.

And to do so cheaply. Very cheaply. A few cents per unit cheaply.

Up until Friday’s announcement, Thinfilm’s non-volatile, ferroelectric memory was completely passive – it just sat there, holding those 20 bits in its memory cells. To be rewritten or read, it needed to be accessed by an external device which used one access pad for each memory cell.