Printable solar panels are going to be available to us very soon and could power “entire skyscrapers,” Australian researchers say. The very near future will see personal electronic charging transformed, but the potential is growing quickly.
A team of 50 scientists in various fields worked for years to develop paper-thin, printable solar panels as part of the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium. They hope to see commercial market production for use in low-power applications in the very near future.
The key benefit of such technology is in transforming the way personal electronics are charged. “iPad covers, laptop bags, skins of iPhone [will no longer be] just for casing electronics, but to collect some energy as well and power those electronics,” Fiona Scholes, a senior research scientist at Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, told ABC News.
What’s more, the energy source can be transported to the world’s remote and developing regions in a cheap and easy way.
According to the consortium’s website, the difference between existing solar panels and the technology it is developing is that “organic cells offer the potential to allow printing directly onto materials such as roofing and windows, and therefore open intriguing building integrated design opportunities.”
The consortium is comprised of members of CSIRO, Melbourne and Monash universities.
They’ve now managed to reduce the solar panels to the size of a coin. They achieved results by using ordinary 3D printers adapted to work with solar ink. “It’s very cheap. The way in which it looks and works is quite different to conventional silicon rooftop solar,” Scholes went on.
“It can be made to be semitransparent – we can use it for a tinted window scenario.” The team is now in the process of developing a spray-painted coating.
The big implication for the future is that once they’ve got the process streamlined of adapting plastic for solar panel use streamlined, powering entire skyscrapers would be no big deal.
“We print them onto plastic in more or less the same way we print our plastic banknotes,” Scholes also said. “Connecting our solar panels is as simple as connecting a battery.”
As their dream gets closer to realization, companies are beginning to show interest in developing the technology further.
“We would like to improve the efficiency of solar panels – we need to develop solar inks to generate more energy from sunlight… We are confident we can push the technology further in the years to come,” Scholes said.
The potential for alternative uses is endless, she told Mashable. “They could potentially be used in a whole range of applications such as consumer product packaging, windows and window furnishings, temporary structures, remote locations and developing communities.
daily alternative | alternative news – Coming soon: 3D printable solar panels capable of powering… anything
Google Upgrades Digital Wallet to Pay by Facial Recognition
As we march steadily toward a cashless society, Google is naturally at the forefront of seeing it come to fruition as quickly as possible.
Despite the fact that several years ago Google had a major security scare with its first incarnation of the digital wallet smartphone app, which required a temporary shutdown, they are announcing a new system being tested which does not even require the smartphone at all.
A growing number of people apparently find that having to remove their smartphone is just such a hassle that they are prepared to embrace payment via biometrics – in this case, facial recognition.
As a perfect indicator of the target market, please read this sad quote:
“Imagine if you could rush through a drive-thru without reaching for your wallet, or pick up a hot dog at the ballpark without fumbling to pass coins or your credit card to the cashier,” Bhat said. (Source)
In one sentence, that quote might represent literally everything that is wrong with modern society.
The new system is being cleverly called Hands Free; and, as the second indicator of its potential mass appeal, it will be rolled out first at McDonald’s and Papa John’s fast food restaurants.
A second more serious component to this ties in with the recent rollout of citywide WiFi systems that keep people connected at all times. Layered on top of that is the arrival of billboards with hidden cameras built in that can film you, then track you through your mobile phone. This reality makes the following information more chilling than convenient:
The digital wallet uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections alone [sic] with location sensing capabilities in smartphones to detect when someone is near a store enabled with Hands Free payment technology.
“When you’re ready to pay, you can simply tell the cashier, ‘I’ll pay with Google,’” Bhat said.
“The cashier will ask for your initials and use the picture you added to your Hands Free profile to confirm your identity.”
At some locations, Google is experimented [sic] with using cameras in stores to recognize people with Hands Free digital wallets so they could pay without even pausing. (emphasis added)
The number of people already prepared to accept this system numbers in the millions, according to Google.
Although this announcement would appear to border on satire, please view the videos below to get an idea about a world where cash is seen as a major annoyance, and laziness is embraced as a virtue.
daily alternative | alternative news – Google Upgrades Digital Wallet to Pay by Facial Recognition
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|Quotes delayed up to 3 minutes.|