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Home > Press > 15 Ways Nanotechnology is Making Life Better Today

Jack Uldrich
Jack Uldrich

Abstract:
Nanotechnology is expected to a $2.6 trillion market by 2015. At the heart of this big new sector is something very small—molecules. To understand how and why nanotechnology—which is defined as the manipulation of matter at the molecular level—matters, you can begin at home.

15 Ways Nanotechnology is Making Life Better Today

Minneapolis, MN | Posted on June 30th, 2008

The Writing is Off-the-Wall

Behr and others are now using nanoparticles to produce anti-mildew paints and anti-graffiti paints. Another company is perfecting a nano-enhanced wall paint that blocks cellphone calls and, longer-term, researchers expect to create a nano-solar paint that can turn your wall and even your house into a giant solar cell.

Scratch-Free

BASF has developed a nanoceramic material that is three times more resistant to scratching. It is already being employed on kitchen tabletops and car exteriors. The company hopes to have self-healing materials on the market in the near future.

Wipe Away Your Worries

Pilkington's "Activ" glass uses nanoparticles of titanium dioxide to create self-cleaning windows; while Eddie Bauer, Tommy Hilfiger and Brooks Brothers all sell clothes that contain tiny "nano-whiskers" and make pants, shirts and ties resistant to stains of every kind. Upholstery and carpet are up next.

Wrap Your Head Around This: The New Flat Will Be Round

Nanostructured polymer films are being used in next-generation OLED (organic light emitting diode) lights. The benefit is that the lights are ten times more energy-efficient than regular lightbulbs and can be wrapped around poles. Super-thin, flexible electronic television screens that can be curved to create a more immersive experience are on the drawing board.

A Germ-a-phobe's Dream

Nano-silver particles and nano-silver coatings—which have amazing anti-bacterial properties—are being used to control germs, mold and fungus and are now in refrigerators, air conditioners, humidifiers and food-storage containers.

Another Reason to Despise Cloudy Days

A new solar fabric embedded with nanocrystals has helped turned tents into solar collectors. The real pay-off will come when the fabric in your clothing can help power your cellphone. The army is already investigating this possibility and commercial products are expected by 2010.

Get Some Skin in the Game

L'Oreal employs nanotechnology to deploy tiny capsules of Vitamin A to the optimum level under the skin. The effect? Fresher-looking skin and fewer wrinkles.

Less is More

Shemen Industries, a small Israel company, is deploying 30 nanometer capsules of phytosterol—a natural ingredient that helps lower cholesterol—in a variety of food products.

So Long Skunky Beer?

Miller Beer uses clay nanoparticles in its plastic beer bottles. The minute particles make it difficult for carbon dioxide molecules to escape and help keep the beverage fresher longer.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Starkey, Inc., an Eden Prairie-based company, uses a nanotechnology switch in its Destiny nFusion hearing aid to deliver high quality of sound to the user.

No Blood Money

Apollo Diamond uses a process called chemical vapor deposition to grow two-carat diamonds virtually overnight. Not only are Apollo's diamonds are molecular identical to natural diamonds, they less expensive; don't take billions of years to form; are more environmentally friendly; and no one is exploited in the mining or manufacturing process.

Nano, Nano

The iPod Nano contains flash memory chips made with components measuring less than 100 nanometers. Within a decade, continued advances in nanotechnology are expected to help store all of a family's digital content—photos, songs, videos, TV programs—on a device the smaller than an iPod Nano.

Get in the Game

NanoDynamic has created a nanotech golf ball that reduces the distance a ball hooks or slices; Easton is making a super-strong, superlight hockey stick with carbon nanotubes; and there are even now nano-enhanced fishing rods, fishing lures, ski waxes and bowling balls on the market.

Ice-fishing Just Won't be the Same

Aspen Aerogel's "Toasty Feet" insoles employ an innovative nanomaterial designed to keep a shoe a stable 72 degrees even if the wearer is standing on a block of ice. The company has also developed a new building insulation material that has eight times the thermal insulating properties of the best material currently on the market.

You'll Be On Your Way in No Time

A new nano-titanate material is being used in car batteries. It reportedly allows cars to run for 300 miles on a single charge.

####

About Jack Uldrich
Jack Uldrich is a renowned global futurist, independent scholar, sought-after business speaker, and best-selling author. His books include the best-selling, The Next Big Thing is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business, and the award-winning, Into the Unknown: Leadership Lessons from Lewis & Clark’s Daring Westward Expedition. His latest book is Jump the Curve: 50 Essential Strategies to Help Your Company Stay Ahead of Emerging Technologies.

Mr. Uldrich’s other written works have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Futurist, Future Quarterly Research, The Wall Street Reporter, Leader to Leader, Management Quarterly, and hundreds of other newspapers and publications around the country. He also writes a regular column on emerging technologies for The Motley Fool, and is a frequent guest of the media worldwide—having appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and National Public Radio on numerous occasions.

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Contacts:
Jack Uldrich
612-267-1212

Copyright © Jack Uldrich

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