New Technologies we need…

Perpetual Printing

A Japanese company, Sanwa Newtec, is offering its version of inkless, tonerless and rewritable printing technology. Its product is called the PrePeat rewritable printer, which, like the Xerox solution, requires plastic paper. But PrePeat uses a different technique to produce an image. Each sheet of paper comes embedded with leuco dyes, which change color with temperature — colored when cool and clear when hot. The PrePeat printer, then, heats and cools the paper to first erase an image and then create a new image in its place. According to the company, a single sheet of paper can be reused 1,000 times before it needs to be replaced.

Pencil Pusher

Here’s how the pencil-making gadget works: You insert wastepaper into a feed slot. The machine draws the paper in, rolls and compresses it, and then inserts a piece of lead from a storage chamber located in the top of the device. A small amount of glue is added before — voilà — a pencil slides out from a hole on the side. It’s not clear how many pieces of paper form a single pencil, but you figure the average office worker could generate a decent supply of pencils in a month.

Philips And Green Sense Farms

This year, Green Sense Farms (GSF), a vertical-agriculture project in Indiana, achieved a monumental goal: It outproduced a traditional farm of comparable size for the first time. By using Philips LEDs, indoor farmers can grow all year round—and researchers are working on customizing light spectrum and intensity for each crop. Because the lights are cool, they can sit close to plants, ensuring uniform illumination even when crops are grown vertically, enabling farms to plant more per acre. Green Sense Farms.

KONE UltraRope

Of all the physical constraints that dictate our city scapes, perhaps the most counter intuitive is the elevator cable. Very long standard cables become too heavy to haul, a limitation that restricts the height of buildings. But UltraRope, a new cable with a carbon-fiber core and high-friction coating, could double elevator heights to 3,280 feet. UltraRope weighs 80 percent less than a standard cable, with no loss in strength, and designers are already using it to build higher than ever; with UltraRope, the elevator shafts in the new Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, will reach a record 2,165 feet. The lighter material also helps new buildings reduce energy consumption by up to 45 percent.

POC Helmet Integrity System

The key principle of helmet design is, by and large, simple: Create a container that will protect its contents (your brain). Successful execution is a bit harder. With every impact, a helmet weakens. Sometimes that’s evident—a crushed lid is a powerful indicator that you need a new one. But sometimes it’s not. Subtle deformations and microfractures can compromise protection even if the helmet appears to be in good shape.

POC’s Helmet Integrity system monitors a helmet’s ongoing health. Designers embedded sensors throughout the liner that record deformation and measure the severity of a hit. If damage exceeds a predefined limit, an indicator light in the helmet will signal that it needs to be retired. For now, the Comp H.I. Mips is available only in the Skull Orbic.

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