Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have developed technology that could help cut lighting energy costs by brightening up rooms with natural light. The SmartLight system is designed to direct sunlight into dark, dingy rooms located within the bowels of buildings without requiring the installation of new wiring, ducts, tubes or cables. It also allows excess light to be harnessed and centrally stored to provide energy for electric lighting on cloudy days.
According to University of Cincinnati electrical and computer engineer Jason Heikenfeld, there are two types of electronic devices: things such as e-readers, that require little power but have displays with limited performance, and devices such as smartphones and laptops, that display bright, full-color moving video, but that guzzle batteries. After seven years of development, however, Heikenfeld and collaborators from Gamma Dynamics are now presenting a new type of electronic display. They claim that their “zero-power” electrofluidic
system combines the energy efficiency of the one type of device, with the high performance of the other.
A new electronic ink display technology has been developed at the University of Cincinnati. This new technology, called an electrofluidic display (EFD), creates a reflective display that can produce color and contrast ratio of up to 85 percent what normal paper can achieve, promising a new generation of full-color electronic readers.