Popular Mechanics featured the top 7 Wildest, Brightest and Quirkiest Material inventions in 2008 as rated by Inventables, a Chicago-based firm. Initially there were only 10 available spots, but with the uniqueness and possible product applications of last year’s nominees, it had no choice but to open 6 extra slots to incorporate all these mind blowing products. Here are 7 of these mind blowing products, enjoy.
Zircar Zirconia, Inc., a New York manufacturer of thermal products, created this cloth knit from ceramic fibers, which will insulate against extreme temperatures.
Electronic paper, a thin, flexible display technology that reveals digital images in full color, was invented by Israeli company Magink. Inventables imagines that the material could be used to create a portable “origami DVD player,” which would unfold to reveal a big screen.
“Stone” paper, sold by Design & Source Productions, is made of calcium carbonate, making it more eco-friendly than wood-based paper.
Temperature Sensitive Glass Tiles
Glass tiles that change color in response to temperature were created by California-based Moving Color. They have already used the tiles to create a shower with walls that change color as the water hits them.
This durable antifog coating is the creation of Film Specialties in New Jersey. The coating’s hydrophilic properties means that water slides off the surface rather than turning to fog.
A Hungarian architect invented these translucent concrete tiles that contain optical fibers, allowing light to pass through. They are now sold through his company Litracon Bt.
Flavor Changing Additives
Flavor-changing additives, developed by New Jersey–based Salvona Technologies, contain nanospheres encapsulated in larger microspheres. When the microspheres burst, one flavor is released. The rupture of the nanospheres, some time later, releases another flavor, creating a taste experience that changes over time.