Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Flexible

Some of the printed circuits, perhaps coming to a milk carton near you

Someday soon, your milk carton may be able to tell you that the milk has spoiled, or your bandage may indicate that it needs changing. These and other things could be made possible by a new technique developed at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, which allows disposable electronics to be printed on a variety of surfaces, using an existing T-shirt printer.  Read More

The Madrid-based All I Own House was completed in August 2014 by Spanish firm PKMN Archite...

When you're living in a small home, flexible furniture and clever design can make daily life that much easier. Spanish firm PKMN Architectures recently renovated a small one story villa in Madrid, and in the process transformed the interior with innovative modular units which can be easily moved around to create flexible living and work spaces.  Read More

A new prototype display represents the first time graphene has been used in a transistor-b...

Flexible displays are the new must-have element in the race for the next generation of high-tech electronic devices. A new prototype display created with graphene promises to provide a more efficient, printable alternative to current construction methods with the added benefit of perhaps one day creating a true, fully-folding display.  Read More

The Riddell Speedflex, with its flexible hinged panel visible at the top

Although we may admire older cars' ability to "hold together" in a collision, it's now generally accepted that it's safer for vehicles to feature impact-absorbing crumple zones. With that in mind, shouldn't football helmets also be safer if they're able to give a little when whacked? That's what Riddell's new SpeedFlex helmet does ... along with a few other interesting things.  Read More

A flexible artificial skin is designed to wrap around objects and autonomously camouflage ...

A new device developed at the University of Houston can automatically sense its surroundings and blend into them in a matter of seconds, imitating the behavior of squids and other marine creatures. Once it is perfected, the prototype could have interesting applications for the military, or even make its way into consumer technology.  Read More

The Transustainable House, by Japanese architecture firm Sugawaradaisuke (Photo: Jérémie S...

Japanese homes are often designed to last a relatively short time before being demolished and rebuilt, so it's little wonder that the country produces a disproportionately high number of quirky residences. The Transustainable House reflects this trend, and sports a facade that rusts over time. In addition, despite measuring just 38 sq m (409 sq ft), it can house up to three groups of people at once.  Read More

Still images drawn with the 'nano-pixel' technology that each measure around 70 micrometre...

The Retina displays featured on Apple's iPhone 4 and 5 models pack a pixel density of 326 ppi, with individual pixels measuring 78 micrometers. That might seem plenty good enough given the average human eye is unable to differentiate between the individual pixels, but scientists in the UK have now developed technology that could lead to extremely high-resolution displays that put such pixel densities to shame.  Read More

LG Display's new flexible OLED panel can be rolled up to a radius of 3 cm

After unveiling the world's first flexible OLED TV at CES earlier this year, LG has gone a step further with the unveiling of two new 18-inch OLED panels: the first is a transparent display, while the second can be rolled up. Although both fall short of the 77-inch flexible TV on show at CES, the company says the new panels prove that it has the technology to bring rollable TVs with screens in excess of 50 inches to market in the future.  Read More

A sheet of clear polymer treated with the new electrode coating

Chances are that the touchscreen on your smartphone or tablet incorporates a coating of indium tin oxide, also known as ITO or tin-doped indium oxide. Although it's electrically conductive and optically transparent, it's also brittle and thus easily-shattered. Scientists at Ohio's University of Akron, however, are developing something that could ultimately replace the material. They've created an electrode coating that's not only as transparent and more conductive than ITO, but is also far tougher.  Read More

Researchers have created wires with supercapacitance, which may eventually also double as ...

We literally live in a wired world, with wires snaking hither and yon transmitting electricity and data. Many are visible, while many more are hidden in the walls of buildings, the panels of cars, and the fuselage of aircraft. Now, imagine; what if we were able to turn each and every one of these into a battery that not only transmitted electricity but stored it too? Well, two researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) imagined that too, and came up with a way to use nano-technology to make wires with supercapacitance that may eventually also double as batteries.  Read More

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