Tiny piezoelectric devices convert motion into electricity

November 10 2008 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 3

What happened?
Researchers at Georgia Tech University have developed a new type of small-scale electric power generator able to produce alternating current (AC) through the repeated stretching and releasing of zinc oxide wires held with in a flexible plastic substrate that can be incorporated into almost any material.

This new type of piezoelectric generator can produce up to 45 millivolts by converting nearly seven percent of the mechanical energy applied directly to the zinc oxide wires into electricity. A complex array of these devices could be used to charge sensors or low power embedded MEMS devices.

Why is this important to the future?
Micro and nano-scale power systems are going to be in high demand in a future increasingly dependent on sensors and microelectronics. Piezoelectric generators could become a low cost, more durable alternative to miniaturized batteries and fuel cells used to power the billions of sensors, smart tags, and MEMS devices expected to hit the marketplace over the next two decades.

“The flexible charge pump offers yet another option for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy,” said Professor Zhong Lin Wang of the Center for Nanostructure Characterization at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “This adds to our family of very small-scale generators able to power devices used in medical sensing, environmental monitoring, defense technology and personal electronics.”

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Is 'On Demand' Book Printing Emerging From the Bottom of the Hype Cycle?

January 23 2009 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2018   Rating: 2

Is the book really 'dead'? 

Will OLED screens kill paper?  Or converge to strengthen the human cultural bond with paper?

What if the future 'death' is not paper, but book inventory?

That is what 'on demand' printing businesses hope will be true.  Their strategy is to target the problems of inventory (e.g. excees; 'long tail' demand), not paper.

The OnDemandBooks Espress Book Machine (EBM) can operate 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and produce over 60,000 books per year with minimum supervision. And HP is reported to be developing a massive MEMS printer that can deliver thousands of book pages per minute.

The key question is: when will 'on demand printing' come up from the bottom of the Hype Cycle.

 

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[Video] What is the Future of Nanotechnology?

February 01 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

This mashup video project created by students in a Brown University Global Media course (2007) integrates various video clips that ask: What is nanotechnology?

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