Dr Hossein Eslambolchi, technical adviser at Facebook, quoted his top 10 Nano-technology trends earlier this year. Whilst they are “trending”, they can hardly be described as trendy. The difference being, one gets scientists and engineers excited, the other gets the world excited, not about the science of nanotechnology, but about the applications.
Here are my top 5 trendy nanotechnology applications:
More speed – think of a mode of transport, car, motorbike, pushbike, boat, plane, etc. now apply a nanotechnology coating that makes the surface ultra-smooth through self-assembling nanoparticles that fill the space between the paint molecules and metal frame. Ultra-smooth equals less friction, which equals more speed from the same sized engine, more miles from the same tank of fuel, cheaper flights, and shorter flying/crossing times.
More distance - Nano-composite is replacing traditional materials used in manufacturing of golf clubs, making them lighter and stronger. For example, nanomaterials are used to increase the power and accuracy of the club by lowering its weight and centre of gravity. Applying new materials to golf balls has allowed the ball to fly along a much straighter path and avoid an uneven spin. Similarly other sports are targets of nanotechnology, tennis balls that don’t loose their bounce over time, go further and faster, racquets that are stronger and more stable, sports shoes that are soft and flexible but retain their shape…and don’t smell!
More performance – when you want your body to perform better. Wearable fitness technology has helped us, but what if we had sensors inside our body that Bluetooth to our smartphone and told us if our energy levels were too low to compete for our PB. The same sensors could predict an oncoming cold and prescribe a reduced training or rest period to prevent it. These are where the nanotechnology gives us information that allows us to control a change to affect performance. But what if as Dr Hossein Eslambolchi calls it we put “Doctors Inside your Body” that actually interfere with our body's signals for controlling organ function. What could our performance be like then?
Trendy clothes – that repel water so they don’t get wet, that warm up when it gets cold on the ski slopes, or cool down when you are on the beach. Swimming trunks that hold 2% water rather than 50% so you go faster in the water. Clothes that don’t need washing because they don’t get dirty or smell. Ultra-smooth low wind resistant clothes that allow you to go faster for longer.
Eternal youth – it’s all about you. Anti-wrinkle creams that penetrate deeper into your skin, hair products that keep your hair colour, sun creams that enable you to stay protected in the sun from UV, eyesight products that stay the need for reading glasses, ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders that remain fully mobile. These are all either already using nanotechnology, or are currently being researched.
Nanotechnology is definitely trending amongst scientists and engineers, but it can be trendy for everyone with some imagination and application.
Written by Richard King, Managing Director of PDS Strategic Consulting, for more information about PDS Strategic Consulting, visit http://www.pdsconsultants.co.uk/