more top stories »


— Sports

Riddell's Speedflex football helmet flexes to absorb the hits

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
— Tiny Houses

Up to three groups of people can live in this rusting small home

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
— Electronics

"Nano-pixels" hold huge potential for flexible, low-power, high-res screens

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
— Electronics

LG "rolls out" latest flexible and transparent OLED panels

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
— Science

Copper nanowire coating could lead to shatterproof smartphone screens

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
— Electronics

Researchers create flexible wires that could double as batteries

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
— Science

New record efficiency for quantum-dot photovoltaics

Flexible, inexpensive, large-area, lightweight solar cells are difficult to produce as they require an inert atmosphere and high temperatures, and they often degrade in a short time after exposure to air. Researchers at MIT, however, have used a new method to craft solar cells from ultra-thin layers of quantum dots in a process that promises to avoid these problems, and at room temperature. At the same time, they have also set a new record of nine percent for the most efficient quantum-dot solar cells produced to date. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Shape-shifting PaperFold smartphone joins the fold

Long before Korean electronics giants LG and Samsung rolled out smartphones with curved displays in the form of the G Flex and Galaxy Round, the team from the Human Media Lab at Canada's Queen's University created the Paperphone, a fully-functioning flexible smartphone prototype featuring a thin film E-Ink display. This was followed by the PaperTab tablet and MorePhone smartphone prototypes. Now the foldable PaperFold smartphone has joined the fold. Read More