Tuesday March 20, 2018
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Smart windows can change the opacity


New Delhi: Researchers from Harvard University have developed a technique that can quickly change the opacity of a window, turning it cloudy, clear or somewhere in between with the flick of a switch.

Previous technologies used in “tunable” windows relied on electrochemical reactions and were very expensive.

“However, the new technology uses geometry to adjust the transparency of a window which is a much cheaper option,” said David Clarke from Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The “tunable” window is comprised of a sheet of glass or plastic, sandwiched between transparent, soft elastomers sprayed with a coating of silver nanowires, too small to scatter light on their own.

With an applied voltage, the nanowires on either side of the glass are energised to move toward each other, squeezing and deforming the soft elastomer.

Since the nanowires are distributed unevenly across the surface, the elastomer deforms unevenly.

The resulting roughness causes light to scatter, turning the glass opaque in less than a second.

“It’s like a frozen pond. If the frozen pond is smooth, you can see through the ice. But if the ice is heavily scratched, you can’t see through,” added postdoctoral fellow Samuel Shian in a paper that appeared in the journal Optics Letters.

“Because this is a physical phenomenon rather than based on a chemical reaction, it is a simpler and potentially cheaper way to achieve commercial tunable windows,” Clarke noted.

The team is now working on incorporating thinner elastomers, which would require lower voltages, more suited for standard electrical supplies. (IANS)

(Image Courtesy: lerablog.org/)

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Apple To Release Dual Display Device Soon

Illustrations associated with the patent application explicitly detail that one screen is an OLED display while the other is an LCD screen

Apple got lukewarm response for iPhone X. Pixabay
Apple devices are sending unnecessary SOS messages. Pixabay
  • Apple now has the patent for ‘dual display’
  • It will allow users to have a double screen on single device
  • The technology is certainly very clever

Apple has been granted a patent for “dual display” that can potentially allow a future MacBook or iPad to use the second screen in place of a keyboard, media reports said.

“The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted the tech giant a patent titled ‘dual display equipment with enhanced visibility and suppressed reflections’,” Apple Insider reported late on Tuesday.

Apple  gets patent for dual display device. VOA
Apple gets patent for the dual display device. VOA

The documentation for the patent outlines a device that would use the second display as a dynamic keyboard.

The patent also describes the use of polarizers to help minimise reflections from the two screens onto each other which is a clever addition to solve that problem should the Cupertino-headquartered actually look to build this as a real device, according to The Verge.

Also Read: Beatles, Apple, Facebook knew India more than Indians

Notably, the documentation makes it clear that the implementation is not intended as an accessory that would allow two iPads to be paired together, with one serving as the keyboard.

Out of two screens one will be LED and other OLED. Pixabay
Out of two screens, one will be LED and other OLED. Pixabay

Illustrations associated with the patent application explicitly detail that one screen is an OLED display while the other is an LCD screen. IANS

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