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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today On The Drawing Board ...

Every once in a while I get an idea that sticks in my head. It's times like this that I wish "Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius" wasn't a cartoon character but a flesh-and-blood young inventor ... and that he lived just up the street!

I'm calling my idea "honeycomb glass technology" or HGT. I hate glare on my car's windshield and I have a hell of a time keeping track of good sunglasses once I find a pair. I also once drove a rental car with tinted windows, but the view had a weird bluish "aura" and things looked slightly unreal. I felt like I was driving in a video game instead of on real roads and highways.

HGT would revolutionize the automotive glass industry by creating a glass polymer made up of tiny ... just shy of microscopic ... interlocking hexagonal cells. Each enclosed cell would contain a clear chemical compound ... to be determined later ... that would become a soft, cloudy brown or green when subjected to an electrical current. The basic operating premise would be the more current applied, the darker the tinting. Basically, an adjustable tinted window!

Now I realize this is a bigger, more complex "invention" than my usual clever notions. I'd need the help of practical physicists, applied chemists, electrical and mechanical engineers, and polymer scientists just to name a few. Plus I'd need a mega-lawyer to help me navigate the miasma of federal agency approvals I'd need, as well as broker deals with the big automotive manufacturers.

Up front, I know my "team" would have several things to flush out. Like how to limit the process so a careless user couldn't completely opaque a windshield while the car was moving. And some type of "surge protection" so a jolt of electricity or an engine malfunction couldn't cause the same mishap. There would also need to be some type of light meter integration so that the system would not operate at night or under cloudy and inclement weather conditions. I'm also sure power would be an issue ... especially since I don't know if HGT would operate from occasional small electrical adjustments or require continual electrical stimulation to maintain the "tinting."
But THINK of the possibilities! If HGT works for windshields, why not kitchen windows? Or whole skyscrapers? And wouldn't HGT make for some killer shades and ski goggles? Even kitchen canisters that could display food one minute and then opaque to protect the foodstuffs from damaging UV light.

POINT OF RANT: Does anyone know a friendly venture capitalist? Anyone?!

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