Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Graphene could be used in creating solar cells, LCDsa

Not to sound alarming or anything, but apparently, we've only got a decade or so before our planet runs clean out of indium. Thankfully for us, a team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Germany are purportedly onto a replacement. For those in the dark, indium is a critical resource in "creating solar cells, LCD and other devices which must have transparent electrodes to carry out their function," but the aforementioned crew has seemingly been able to take graphene ("single layer 2D sheets extracted from the common material graphite") and build an acceptable alternative. The creation is 80-percent transparent to visible light and 100-percent transparent to infrared light, which could actually lead to solar cells capable of soaking up even more energy from more of the EM spectrum. 'Course, there's no telling how close this discovery is to being commercially viable, but we suppose we could always resurrect RPTVs and rely solely on wind farms for renewable energy if necessary, right?

[Via DailyTech, image courtesy of About]


LG.Philips announces 52 and 84-inch multi-touch displays, double-sided LCD, and more

LG.Philips ain't screwing around this CES, bringing the pain on rival Sharp with five interesting new panels. Check it out:
  • 52-inch multi-touch LCD - full 1080p, two touch detection
  • 84-inch multi-touch LCD - 2 x 4 array of 42-inch panels, totaling full 1080p resolution, 500cd/m2 brightness
  • 47-inch triple-view LCD - full 1080p, 250cd/m2 brightness, three separate images (much like Sharp's triple view), photo after the break
  • 47-inch double sided LCD - 70mm thickness, 500cd/m2 brightness, displays images on both sides
  • 42-inch transflective LCD - the 1,500cd/m2 brightness is nice, but damn that's large for a transflective display.
Kind of goes without saying, but these aren't TV sets ready for sale or anything -- these are panels produced for OEMs to build into their gear, more than likely industrial and commercial type getups. Still, hot.


iPod touch SIP-VoIP application videoed in action

Sure, there's less than 24 hours before everyone and their grandmother can hop online and grab 'hold of the SIP-VoIP application, but if you won't be bothered with it unless there's proof that it works, you're in the right place. The crafty folks over at touch mods have videoed "the first VoIP call" made with an iPod touch, the aforementioned software and their own microphone appendage. Granted, the dialogue is about as uninteresting as it gets, but trust us, that's not what's important here. Check out a couple of in-action videos after the jump. [Thanks, Tyler]


Researchers using nano-imprint lithography to make LEDs brighter

from Engadget by Considering that there are quite a few nations out there aiming to ditch incandescent bulbs in the not-too-distant future, it follows logic that we should start making LEDs more suitable for in-home use. Of course, we've already seen a couple of advancements in the area, but scientists at Glasgow University -- along with the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde -- have reportedly found a way to make traditional LEDs a fair bit brighter. The process, dubbed nano-imprint lithography, involves "making microscopic holes in the surface of LEDs to increase the level of light they give off." Unfortunately, said process is still quite time consuming and expensive, but you can rest assured they're working to make the process quicker, simpler and cheaper for the good of mankind. [Via FarEastGizmos]


Asus to unveil next-gen Eee PC with WiMAX alongside Intel and Sprint

There's a WiMAX shindig coming our way at CES next Monday courtesy of Intel, Sprint and Asus. From the sound of things it'll primarily be Sprint and Intel letting everyone know how very, very fast WiMAX is -- and how ahead of the curve we should know they are on deployment and chipsets -- but things will get a little extra interesting when the companies start showing off WiMAX "mobile solutions": actual devices that actually play around with the new wireless standard. Asus in particular will be one to watch, since it's showing the sequel to the Eee PC, bedecked in WiMAX garb. That's as much info as we have at this point, and we're guessing Asus won't be launching the new Eee PC in the coming months while the current model is still selling so well, but we're looking forward to a peek all the same. [Via Notebook Italia]