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Glass

Glass houses aren't typically very practical to live in (take the Santambrogio home for example), but the Vertical Glass House differs from most similar structures thanks to a design that combines architectural novelty with a degree of privacy. Though it sports see-through ceilings and floors, a concrete facade ensures occupants are shielded from the gaze of passers-by. Read More
In the future, if you drop a glass on the floor and it doesn't break, thank a mollusk. Inspired by shellfish, scientists at Montreal's McGill University have devised a new process that drastically increases the toughness of glass. When dropped, items made using the technology would be more likely to deform than to shatter. Read More
Last July, Corning announced that germ-killing glass for mobile device screens could be less than two years away. Well, things are apparently progressing quickly. Yesterday, the company unveiled its Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass – although you can't buy a phone that features it quite yet. Read More
While there is no formal ceremony or rite of passage, it seems clear to me that 2013 was the year that Android finally came of age as a fully mature mobile OS to power the world. Rather than a fancy coronation ceremony, let's take a look back at the highlights of the past 12 months in Android. Read More
Windshield wipers are life-savers, but also can drive one to distraction with their incessant streaking and chattering. Well, the tyranny of the wipers may soon be over. McLaren Automotive’s chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles. While Stephenson referred to a military source for McLaren's tech, there appears to be very little public information on how such force fields might clean a windshield during a storm, so I'm taking a look at the patent history to see how this might be accomplished. Read More

The ubiquitous office cubicle has redefined how much privacy pencil-pushers can expect during their daily grind, but a new office block in downtown Shanghai by AIM Architecture goes much further than this. The futuristic-looking workplace sports glass walls and mirrored ceilings throughout to stunning effect. Read More

One of the perks of writing about technology and innovation is the opportunity to get your hands on all sorts of new products, usually made by folks with a vision of how their new gadget will change the world. The downside of this privilege, however, is the knowledge that many perfectly fantastic products will never become household names, no matter how deserving they might be. With that in mind, I wanted to pay tribute to five products that, unfortunately, I fear only total nerds like myself will ever truly fall in love with. Read More
In 2012, a one-molecule thick layer of silica glass was accidently made in the laboratory of Cornell professor David Muller, allowing the atoms in a glass to be seen individually for the first time. Now, Guinness World Records has identified this ultimately thin glass as a 2014 World Record. Read More
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have produced a "smart" glass coating that can be selectively controlled to block visible light, heat-producing near-infrared (NIR) light, or both, by applying a small electrical charge to it. The ability to do this dynamically has the potential to deliver improved lighting, heating, and cooling efficiency in buildings, thereby maximizing energy savings and still providing bright and well lit environments in different weather conditions. Read More
Joanna Aizenberg, Ph.D. and her team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have improved upon the Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) technology they developed back in 2012. The ultra smooth surface, which the team claims is the slipperiest known synthetic surface, has now been made transparent and more durable, giving it the potential to make the issues glass has with sticky liquids, frost and ice formation, and bacterial biofilms a thing of the past. Read More
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