We've seen a variety of new battery technologies over the years, the most intriguing of which being the prototype from Israeli startup StoreDot. The company has shown off the prototype for a rapid smartphone charger that can fully charge a Samsung Galaxy S4's battery in 30 seconds.
If "wearable" is the big buzzword of CES this year then "flexible" can't be far behind. Cambrios Technologies isn't a company you might associate with it - LG's G Flex and Samsung's transforming curved TV are certainly more eye-catching - but the company's ClearOhm silver nanowires are likely to enable the next generation of flexibly flexible touch panels, including turning your whole car dashboard into one vast finger-responsive surface.
Over the years, headphones have become very ubiquitous. You can buy them for a few dollars in the checkout lane at your local Walmart and many smartphones ship with a cheap generic pair of headphones right and the box. It also spend hundreds of dollars on audiophile grade headphones. One thing that all these headphones have in common is that they utilize speaker drivers on the inside that rely on moving parts to create sound. Scientists have created a new type of headphone that uses carbon nanotubes and features no moving parts.
NMR and MRI technology has received a large boost, thanks to work by two groups that have developed a method to image individual molecules using nuclear magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging. Instead of using nanomagnets, which require extremely cold temperatures, a large drawback, the researchers achieved this with defective diamonds.
IBM has reported that they're making great strides on developing a new technology that will continue to make chips smaller, while also making them continually faster at the same time. Using carbon nanotubes, IBM scientists have been able to build hybrid chips with more than 10,000 working transistors.
Scientists at the UK's Newcastle University and the National Science Foundation in the United States are working on a new kind of robot. Not the kind that will wake you up and present you with the paper and a cup of coffee in the morning, but one that could literally swim around inside your body to get the most in-depth analysis possible when you start to feel sick, or even detect symptoms for serious disease even if you don't feel any different.
The University of Michigan Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has created a prototype for what is believed to be the first complete millimeter-scale computing system. The prototype is an implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients. The whole system measures just over 1 cubic millimeter, and has an ultra low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a thin-film battery, a solar cell, and a wireless radio with an antenna that can transfer data to an external device held near the eye.
The Nokia Morph concept phone has been something that Nokia fans (and even non-Nokia fans) have been aching for. The ability to change your phone into something that you need, whenever you need it, just by molding it to a different form is an exciting idea. And it looks like, while Nokia has been pretty quiet about the Morph for awhile now, the company is still putting quite a bit of effort into getting that idea into the real world.
Implants have been used for quite some time, and as the future becomes the present, the technology powering them gets better and better. One of the more troubling aspects of those gadgets, though, is powering them. After all, you can't have all those power cables we're so accustomed to in our day-to-day lives trailing out of your body, now can you? That's why how we power those implants needs to change with it, and get better at the same time. Thanks to scientists at Georgia Tech, we're now officially one step closer to seeing our own bodies power the implants that are so essential to some.
While we love our AMOLED displays, we hate using them in direct sunlight. It's way too frustrating, because everything on the screen gets washed out, and we can no longer see what we're doing without tilting it all crazy-like, making people stare at us. So, consider us pretty happy that some scientists across the pond have created a new nanocoating that could get rid of our troubles for good.