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March 21st, 2007

The 25 best bright ideas

Xiangfeng Duan, principal scientist at Nanosys in Palo Alto, a nanotechnology company, has developed wafer-thin flexible electronic chips. He said the devices, which can be attached to the surface of a thin sheet of flexible plastic, enable users to watch television or video on an electronic screen that can be configured to any size - and even rolled up.

And the chips can also be used as miniature radio frequency identification tags. If attached to grocery items, Duan said, shoppers could pay for an entire cart of groceries without each item being individually scanned, as is now the case. Instead, the tiny tag would communicate price and other information using radio frequency communication.


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