Category Archives: technology

Solar sunglasses…yes, please!

I don’t usually wear sunglasses, but I’d definitely wear these:

The frames are standard, but the lenses collect solar energy which is transferred to the electronic gadgetry hidden in the arms. That gadgetry could be enough to power small wearables such as hearing aids. For me though, the most exciting part is this:

Organic solar cells were chosen instead of more traditional silicon cells because they’re transparent, flexible, lightweight, and can be manufactured in a variety of shapes and colors. Each solar cell lens weighs about six grams, is 1.6 mm thick, and was made to fit into a set of commercially-produced sunglass frames.’

The blue highlights are mine, and they’re exciting because the same cells could also, in time, be used on windows. Imagine how much energy could be harvested if windows became solar panels as well as roofs? And think of all those huge skyscrapers – perfect realestate for solar farms. 🙂

You can read the complete article on NewAtlas. Just follow the link below:

http://newatlas.com/solar-lens-sunglasses/50732/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=0033755d27-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-0033755d27-92416841

Happy Friday 🙂

Meeks


#MXene for batteries of the future?

At this moment in time, the biggest stumbling block to new, clean, renewable technology is old technology – the tech of the battery – but MXene, and new materials like it, could be the trigger that kickstarts general acceptance of renewable technologies.

Why? Because :

‘While MXene won’t be commercially available or integrated into current technology for about three years, the material has the potential to disrupt current charging tech by rectifying inefficient, long charge times, device deterioration, and systems with relatively short battery lives.’

Now, imagine having vehicle charging ports on every block, like fire hydrants, and electric vehicles capable of recharging their batteries at these port in just a few minutes. In such a scenario, even currently produced electric cars would be convenient enough for general use. Add new car technologies that extend driving range, for example, and you have a world in which there is no reason to have internal combustion engines.

Now think bigger still. Once car batteries become truly efficient, why not extend the technology to the generation of power as well? Tesla already offers storage solutions for electricity generated from renewables. What if these storage batteries become so efficient [and common] that every house or apartment building can afford to generate and store its own power?

Thinking further still, what if all these small, local power plants could talk to each other and shift energy sideways to wherever it’s needed within an entire city?

I may be letting my imagination run away with me, but in such a future, I can see electricity prices coming down and clean air going up. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Can you see what I see…?

Life’s been rather hectic of late, so my posts have been more sporadic than usual, but today I want to show you something that I think is quite wonderful. And no, I’m not going to tell you, I’m going to show you.

Have a look at these three screenshots and tell me what you see:

Yes, all three screenshots are computer generated. And yes, they are all from a game, but the amazing thing is the mirror.

I’ve been playing games of one sort or another for close to 20 years, and in all that time I’ve never seen a mirror used in any game I’ve ever played. Now, it may be that I’ve played the wrong sort of games, or it may be that mirrors use up too many resources, or… Whatever the reason, mirrors haven’t been a part of the graphics, and I have always felt the lack.

Reflections are such a fundamental part of how we see the world, and ourselves.  Think about it. We catch sight of our reflection a hundred times a day – in mirrors, shop windows, highly polished tables, glossy cupboards, ponds, even spoons. They are everywhere in the real world, but not in the virtual world, and to me it feels odd. Like not having a shadow.

Remember when gaming graphics were so primitive that no one even dreamed of adding shadows? Now they’re commonplace in most games with high end graphics. I predict that one day soon, reflections will become just as commonplace as shadows because they add an almost subliminal element to our ability to immerse ourselves in a virtual environment.

For now, though, my friend George is the trail blazer in this area. The mirror is his, as is the game, and I think both are going to be quite extraordinary.

cheers

Meeks


3D printed food! omg…..

3d Printed food ( pasta ) 3d printed food is well know. We love to eat pasta in different forms. almost every country has some kind of pasta or related food. Pasta comes in different shapes, but when we want to make our own design based pasta its little bit hard for some of […]

via 3d Printed food ( pasta ) — SV3DPRINTER.com


…an eCar for car lovers :)

I’m not exactly a petrol head, but I do love beautiful cars, and the new EMotion by Fisker is extraordinarily sexy:

According to futurism.com:

‘The car will, reportedly, have a range of over 643 km (400 miles), a top speed of 260 km/h (161 m/h), a charge time of nine minutes for 100 km (62 miles), and utilizes the wonder material graphene in its battery, which was developed in collaboration with Nanotech Energy Inc.’

You can read the full article on:

https://futurism.com/heres-a-first-ever-look-at-the-new-electric-vehicle-that-charges-in-9-minutes/

As for me, I’m very happy because this news drives another nail into the coffin of the polluting technology of the past. Electric cars now have range, speed and sexy. All they lack is a pricepoint suitable for the average driver, but with competition, the prices will drop. And guess what? Tesla now has competition.

I won’t be driving one of these beauties any time soon, but I predict that by the late 2020s, electric cars will be as popular as the SUV is now.

Have a great weekend,

cheers

Meeks


Flow #batteries for electric cars are coming!

In a previous post I talked about possible innovations that might make electric cars more convenient in the future. Well here’s another one, and it could be the most effective of the lot:

https://futurism.com/new-instantly-rechargeable-battery-deals-a-fatal-blow-to-fossil-fuels/

In a nutshell, these batteries can be instantly recharged by replacing the fluid electrolytes. Thus, instead of topping ‘er up, you’d drain out the old and replace it with new. The ‘stale’ fluid electrolytes could then be taken away and recharged using one of the renewable energy sources. Or maybe recharged at the service station itself.

Flow batteries aren’t new, but until now, they haven’t been efficient enough for commercial use. The Ifbattery avoids most of the problems of the old technology while being cheap to make and safe to use. And just think of all the new jobs that will mushroom from this renewable technology!

cheers

Meeks


Boomers and #VR [virtual reality]

One of the first friends I ever made online is George, of Ready, Aim Click. George is also my go-to person for info on graphics, gaming and the tech that drives both. This is the eye-popping youtube video he just sent me:

If you’re getting a bit long in the tooth, like me, and wondering what all this VR bunk is all about, this video may change your mind about the value of the technology. I know, because it’s changed mine. I WANT IT NOW! -cough- Sorry.

The VR equipment you see in the video clip is probably top of the line and so expensive I can’t see me buying it any time soon. But…prices will drop, eventually, and when they do, this little old lady is going to be at the head of the queue. 😀

cheers

Meeks


Australian invention for the micro-grid

“In distributed power generation, rather than having a massive centralized grid, you’re talking about much smaller micro-grids,” says Moghtaderi. “This system, in the Energy on Demand mode, has been designed for a micro-grid application. So essentially, if you deploy to a retirement village, and you hook it up to natural gas, that retirement village would be entirely independent of the national electricity network, and they can produce their own power and other utilities, 24/7.”

That quote comes from an exciting article I read in New Atlas today. Essentially, an Australian university – the University of Newcastle – and an Australian company called Infratech Industries have together developed ‘…a Chemical Looping Energy-on-Demand System (CLES)’ which not only generates electricity, but can store it as well.

CLES is the brainchild of Professor Behdad Moghtaderi of the University of Newcastle, and could well be the answer to Australia’s energy woes. Despite being a major exporter of natural gas, Australia has somehow mismanaged things so badly that now we are the ones likely to run out of power. It’s happened already in South Australia and is likely to happen in other states as well in the near future.

Tesla has offered to create a battery-powered fail-safe for us before next summer, but I’d much rather see Australia embrace a homegrown product, especially as it could lead to a rapid uptake of distributed power generation. If we get that right, we could export the technology to the rest of the world instead of continuing to rely on the export of resources. We have so much inventive talent here, let’s celebrate if for once instead of forcing it off-shore through lack of interest.

You can find the New Atlas article here:

http://newatlas.com/energy-on-demand-redox-home-electricity-generation-storage-system/49568/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=127a37fcfe-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-127a37fcfe-92416841

And now an apology. I’ve been missing in action a bit lately, and it’s due to a number of things. First, my teaching schedule exploded unexpectedly. Second, I’ve been trying to complete the print version of Innerscape, and that has required upgrading some of my most critical software to ensure that the finished product is commercially ‘legal’. [For ebooks I use Storybox, which is fine, but for print I have to use a commercial version of Word, and I only had a ‘Home and Student’ version before]. Finally, I haven’t been well. Since about June last year, I’ve had recurring infections in my teeth which have resulted in having one tooth pulled and root canal treatments on three others.

Despite all the treatments, and the associated cost, I developed another infection last week, and I now have to go see an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists who specialise in root canal treatments [amongst other things]. My first appointment is next week. Until then I’m on antibiotics that hurt my stomach and anti-inflammatories that also hurt my stomach. Not sleeping very well either so…those creative juices just aren’t flowing. I will try to catch up with your creativeness though. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Electric roads coming to a year near you

One of the biggest hurdles for electric vehicles to overcome is the…inconvenience…of batteries. With a battery-dependent electric car, you can’t just drive into a service station and ‘fill’er up’. You have to wait, but we live in a society which has lost the art of patience. That is why we need to change the way we build roads:

We already have huge, road-building machines that lay bitumen at phenomenal speeds, so adapting them to build new, electric roads should not be a major problem. Adapating existing roads would be more time-consuming and expensive, but as the video clip shows, the technology is doable. Just imagine never having to worry about ‘filling ‘er up’ again!

For more details, please read this Quartz article:

https://futurism.com/scientists-have-officially-started-testing-wireless-charging-roads-for-electric-vehicles/

Back in my post about distributed power generation via solar and Tesla batteries, I explained the idea of distributed power generation via our homes. The electric roads of the future could allow us to do something similar with transportation. Imagine a future in which the electricity grid is powered not by one or two huge, highly vulnerable power plants but by millions of distributed generators – in our cars, in the home, on top of our buildings etc. Instead of being at the mercy of prices set by power companies, we would become the power companies with onboard accounting systems updating our net ‘worth’ in real-time.

And who knows? Maybe after homes and roads, we’ll add small scale power generation to every object and device we use – like mini-generators in the heels of our shoes. So much better than Get Smart’s shoe phone. 😀

cheers

Meeks


Pod accommodation – in India

I first read about capsule accommodation in the 1970s when the first one opened in Japan. The amenities were pretty basic and that memory informed the creation of ‘short term transit pods’ in Innerscape. But time moves on, and the humble, claustrophobic pod has become high tech, finding takers in some of the world’s largest, and not so large, cities.

If you follow the link below it will take you to an article about the new pod hostel that opened in Mumbai, India. The photos look quite amazing with push button everything:

https://scroll.in/magazine/834487/a-night-at-indias-first-capsule-hotel-shows-that-mumbais-space-crunch-is-now-a-hospitality-fad

The article also gives a nod to the ‘Tiny Homes’ movement which I’ve featured before. And just in case you thought this could not happen in your city, think again. Pod hostels have now sprung up in China, Iceland and…ta dah…Australia, amongst others. You can find some interesting titbits in the video clip right at the end of the article.

I’m still not sure if I’d be able to lock myself in and sleep in a pod, but I’d love to try one on for size…just for fun. Then, I’d traipse off to a nice big hotel room and thank my stars I can afford it. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

 


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