At the top of the cool building material chart is a company called uBeam who is leading the charge, so to speak, in wireless smartphone charging techniques. uBeam is developing an ultrasonic sound transmitter that will fill a room with inaudible energy. A receiver in your wireless device will be able to pick up the sound and convert it back to energy, allowing owners to charge their devices anywhere in the home. The transmitters can be placed around the home to provide full coverage.
Another concept being developed by Michigan State is a transparent solar panel. This would be a huge improvement over the current unattractive large black photovoltaic collectors placed on roofs and windows that create solar power.
Thanks to the Lego generation, a company called Kite Bricks has developed smart bricks reminiscent of Lego blocks that snap together. The bricks are made of high-strength concrete with open internal structures that serve as conduits for insulation, wiring and plumbing, providing easy access for repairs and upgrades.
The popular culture blog Gizmodo has identified a few other material inventions that have great application.
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