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.
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.
Recently, there have been advances in the area of digital data storage promising outstanding data density
and super-long-term data storage
. A new data storage technology developed at the University of Southampton can do both. Due to its similarities to the “memory crystals” used in the Superman
films, it has been dubbed the "Superman memory crystal."
Voice commands via programs like Ford’s Sync
are so 2010. A newly-released app called "GlassTesla" uses the interactive capabilities of Google Glass
to connect wirelessly with Tesla's Model S
. Once connected, owners have a variety of Glass activated commands at their beck and call and information in front of their eyeballs.
It’s a bit ironic that a device whose primary purpose is communication is responsible for so much unsociable behavior. The Offline Glass offers one way of combating unsocial smartphone use by preventing smartphone addicts from choosing their gadget du jour over their friends and significant others.
William Lamson's Solarium comes close to a real-life equivalent of the gingerbread and cake house described in classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel
. Though it uses steel instead of confectionary as a means of support, Lamson's creation incorporates caramelized sugar to create an effect similar to stained-glass windows.
has become a popular fixture in homes and offices for its ability to change between transparent and opaque, depending on whether an electric current is applied. It's a handy invention, but also tends to be expensive to install and offers only limited control. Sonte is hoping to change that with an affordable window film that connects wirelessly to a smartphone app to instantly turn any section of glass from clear to solid at the press of a button.
Architecture studio Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP has designed the “Optical Glass House” in Hiroshima, Japan, that aims to acoustically protect residents from the main road outside, whilst providing light and views for the residents within. The delicate glass blocks belie the structure and a complex casting process is employed to create the 13 ton (11.7 tonne) facade that shows-off the buildings tree-filled courtyard and looks like a shimmering waterfall to the outside world.
UK-based architectural practice Studio RHE was approached by a client who desired the creation of an unusual and ambitious project: to transform the roofs of two adjacent mansion blocks in London’s Notting Hill into one all-glass home, offering stunning views of both the sky at night and the surrounding area.