Stanford University researchers have now created see-through lithium-ion batteries; when combined with transparent screens, keyboards, and circuitry, manufacturers may be able to create fully transparent electronic devices. So soon, rather than searching frantically for those set of keys you somehow misplaced, you can spend your time trying to find your see-through cell phone sitting right in front of you.
Scientists usually make devices like solar cells appear translucent by creating ultra-thin versions of their components. But this doesn’t work with a battery because its electrodes need to be thick enough to store a decent amount of energy. So, the Stanford researchers, in their study recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (pdf), took a different approach: they created lithium-ion electrodes out of components too small for the naked eye to see.
If you hand your grandma an iPod and tell her to “shuffle,” chances are she’ll jump to her feet and start doing a shuffling two-step. So we don’t blame this 13-year-old kid from Britain, who took three whole days to realize that there was a Side B to the tape he popped in his dad’s old Walkman.
In an article for BBC’s magazine, 13-year-old Scott Campbell explains how he traded his iPod for a Sony Walkman for one week. He was clearly shocked by what his dad told him was “the iPod of its day” when it was introduced 30 years ago. He is also mildly appalled at the sheer bulk of the contraption. Scott writes:
From a practical point of view, the Walkman is rather cumbersome, and it is certainly not pocket-sized, unless you have large pockets. It comes with a handy belt clip screwed on to the back, yet the weight of the unit is enough to haul down a low-slung pair of combats.