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Glass


— Automotive

McLaren's ultrasonic force field to replace windshield wipers

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
— Good Thinking

Five products only a nerd could love

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
— Science

Smart Glass controls both lighting and heat levels

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
— Science

Super-slippery SLIPS coating now transparent and more durable

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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