Innovations across the globe that are changing the way we live

16th Jul 2016
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With technology at its peak, researchers and innovators across the globe are coming up with ideas that is making lives simpler. New Delhi based apparels brand Girggit has come up with a unique collection of men’s t-shirts that change their designs and colours with exposure to sunlight to their favourite television series.

Source : Shutterstock
Source : Shutterstock

A brainchild of indigenous apparel brand these t-shirts change colour and pattern as you move out from indoors into the sunlight.

The same T-shirt looks different in design and colours when the person shifts from indoor to the outdoor environment and vice versa. It almost seems magical, the brand says.

One of the T-shirts, for instance, has a sketch of a girl lazing around besides a boy playing with a joystick on a white background. The illustration is topped with the text, Your Tee Has No Colour. However, as soon as it is exposed to light, the sketch becomes colourful and another text, “What Say Now ?” pops up below the drawing.

According to the brand the idea behind bringing out this range is to cater to the section of customers that is looking to is to “wear something out of the box.” In an added advantage of this one-of-a-kind venture that blends quirk and fashion, a single T-shirt from the collection serves as two t-shirts, says Himanshu Thakur who has founded the start-up.

As the design and colours of the T-shirt change with the change in location, a consumer pays for one but buys two different products in the real sense. It is a new concept and people are loving it, he says.

The collection which is currently limited to men’s wear only, has been designed by the brand’s “ingenious team of young fashion designers.”

The fit and pattern of these t-shirts are snazzy as well as comfortable and are priced very reasonably, the brand says. Available in all the conventional sizes of Extra Small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M) and Large (L), they are made from super fine-combed cotton (170 GSM with 24 counts) and can be purchased from any e-commerce portal at an affordable price range of Rs 855 to Rs 1155.

In another news, Scientists from Washington have engineered a kind of sand that will help electronic devices cool. This sand consists of silicon dioxide nanoparticles that is coated with a polymer – that can inexpensively cool power-hungry electronic devices.The unique surface properties of the coated nanoscale silicon dioxide conducts the heat at potentially higher efficiency than existing heat sink materials, researchers said.

The theoretical physics behind the phenomenon is complicated, involving nanoscale electromagnetic effects created on the surface of the tiny silicon dioxide particles acting together. The bottom line could be a potentially new class of high thermal conductivity materials useful for heat dissipation from power electronics, LEDs and other applications with high heat fluxes.

We have shown for the first time that you can take a packed nanoparticle bed that would typically act as an insulator, and by causing light to couple strongly into the material by engineering a high dielectric constant medium like water or ethylene glycol at the surfaces, you can turn the nanoparticle bed into a conductor. Using the collective surface electromagnetic effect of the nanoparticles, the thermal conductivity can increase 20-fold, allowing it to dissipate heatsaid Baratunde Cola, an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
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The researchers decided to experiment by first using water to coat the nanoparticles and turn the silicon dioxide nanoparticle bed into a conductor. However, the water coating was not robust, so the researchers switched to ethylene glycol, a fluid commonly used in vehicle antifreeze. The new combination increased the heat transfer by a factor of 20 to about one watt per metre-kelvin, which is higher than the value ethylene glycol or silicon dioxide nanoparticles could produce alone, and competitive with expensive polymer composites used for heat dissipation.

You could basically take an electronic device, pack these ethylene glycol-coated nanoparticles in the air space, and it would be useful as a heat dissipation material that at the same time, wont conduct electricity. The material has the potential to be very inexpensive and easy to work with, said Cola.

Though the ethylene glycol works well, it will eventually evaporate. For that reason, Cola plans to identify polymeric materials that could be adsorbed to the silicon dioxide nanoparticles to provide a more stable coating with a reasonable product lifetime. The effect depends on the collective action of the silicon dioxide nanoparticles.

We are basically showing a macroscopic translation of a nanoscale effect, Cola said.

Scientists from ANU have found a new way to harvest renewable energy from mobile towers. Lead researcher Salman Durrani from The Australian National University (ANU) said current wireless sensors for buildings, biomedical applications or wildlife monitoring use batteries which are often difficult to replace.

In a first, researchers have accurately modelled how much energy it takes to sense and transfer information by wireless sensors.

A major problem hindering the widespread deployment of wireless sensor networks is the need to periodically replace batteries, said Durrani.
Salman Durrani from the ANU Research School of Engineering
Salman Durrani from the ANU Research School of Engineering

Wireless sensors are increasingly being used in many aspects of daily life. For example, sensors are used to measure temperature, wind speed, light, humidity and soil moisture to optimise the growth of grapes and prevent crop loss due to excessive heat or frost. Wireless sensors are used in various sports, such as rowing, to collect performance data from athletes. They are also used for condition monitoring of structures such as bridges and machinery in factories.


Also readThis duo’s jugaad-like innovation has made 400 Zero Energy buildings in India


The research found it was feasible to replace batteries with energy harvested from solar or ambient radio frequency sources such as communication towers or other mobile phone base stations, with communication delays typically limited to less than a few hundred milliseconds. Durrani said although the technology was years away, the research dealt with an important practical problem.

If we can use energy harvesting to solve the battery replacement problem for wireless sensors, we can implement long-lasting monitoring devices for health, agriculture, mining, wildlife and critical national infrastructure, which will improve the quality of life, Durrani said.
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