The World of Tomorrow - Today! Technological Innovations In Green Design

Talk about the "world of tomorrow, today" - take a look at some of the technology that is up-and-coming as part of the green tech revolution:1

  • Samsung Unveils Solar-Powered Zero Energy Transparent TV, by Lea Bogdan, 03/08/11

  • Super Batteries Made From 'Frozen Smoke' May be Here Soon, by Timon Singh, 03/02/11
    More information about aerogels, taken from one of the articles linked in the blurb (from the Times Online):
    In 2002 Aspen Aerogel, a company created by Nasa, produced a stronger and more flexible version of the gel. It is now being used to develop an insulated lining in space suits for the first manned mission to Mars, scheduled for 2018.

    Mark Krajewski, a senior scientist at the company, believes that an 18mm layer of aerogel will be sufficient to protect astronauts from temperatures as low as -130C. “It is the greatest insulator we’ve ever seen,” he said.

    Aerogel is also being tested for future bombproof housing and armour for military vehicles. In the laboratory, a metal plate coated in 6mm of aerogel was left almost unscathed by a direct dynamite blast.

    It also has green credentials. Aerogel is described by scientists as the “ultimate sponge”, with millions of tiny pores on its surface making it ideal for absorbing pollutants in water.

    Kanatzidis has created a new version of aerogel designed to mop up lead and mercury from water. Other versions are designed to absorb oil spills.

If you think that's fascinating, get a look at some of the other articles linked to when you pull up the 'Frozen Smoke' piece about aerogels:

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Seriously fascinating stuff, with a lot of potential ranging from robots to medicine, to areas I haven't even begun to think of.

And, of course, variants of such tech could be perfect for a couple of sci-fi works I've got in process, a few of which I'm doing with friends.

What do you think? Does the promise of the new technology sound too good to be true? Do you think you could come up with some applications for some of the technology?

Let's discuss in comments below...

 

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Footnotes

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1 Due to the extremely short piece, I won't quote excerpts. I can, however, include YouTube videos where appropriate.

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When will it be commercially viable? When will be commonplace - or will it?

I don't even know if the mfg process is one that, in and of itself, may be environmentally unfriendly - "at what cost, renewable" (or "at what cost, 'green tech'") could be an important question.

Anybody out there got any potential "gotchas"?

How about any potential applications not already referenced - what other ways do you think these technologies may help us achieve a greener, more efficient and sustainable future?

And -- at what cost? (I guess you should define what "cost" means for you in that context, too...'cuz it's not a simple estimate or definition.)