Story 2015-08-08

Outfit your windows with transparent solar panels?

Anonymous Coward
in science on (#GTCK)
Despite the immense potential of solar energy, at present, roof-mounted photovoltaic panels are able at best to capture about 20% of the available energy. And that despite research that has led to gains! To improve energy generation, you either increase solar panel efficiency, or increase their coverage. Enter a Silicon Valley startup named "Ubiquitous Energy."

Ubiquitous Energy produces transparent solar cells using an organic chemical process they call "Clearview Power Technology." They claim their panels cost less than traditional tech and can be built 1000x thinner than a human hair. The system captures ultraviolet and infrared light and lets the rest pass through as it would normally.

National Geographic has a look at the technology here.

Is this an important step forward in solar power generation, or does adding windows to the mix constitute a gimmick? How do we get people more interested in solar energy?

[Ed. Note: the article image chosen here is of an invisible solar panel placed over the entirety of the text.]

Fingerprint biometrics instead of ticket/ID

Anonymous Coward
in security on (#GTBW)
story imageWishing the airline industry could get its act together to innovate around security hassles? Don't give up hope yet!

Security firm CLEAR has worked with Alaska Airlines to implement biometric identification of passengers willing to pay an annual fee of $245. Swiping fingers across a plate will replace a boarding pass and photo ID. The airline states that in their opinion 'Using biometrics as identification has a huge potential to simplify the travel experience and eliminate hassles'.

No word on what happens when someone decides to impersonate someone and hacks off their hand to use as identification.