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MIT Researchers Invent 'Super Glass'

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the none-better dept.

Displays 199

redletterdave writes "On Thursday, researchers at MIT announced a breakthrough in glass-making technology, which basically involves a new way to create surface textures on glass to eliminate all of the drawbacks of glass, including unwanted reflections and glare. The research team wanted to build glass that could be adaptable to any environment: Their 'multifunctional' glass is not only crystal clear, but it also causes water droplets to bounce right off its surface, 'like tiny rubber balls.' The glass is self-cleaning, anti-reflective, and superhydrophobic. The invention has countless applications, including TV screens, as well as smartphone and tablet displays that benefit from the self-cleaning ability of the glass by resisting moisture and contamination by sweat."

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199 comments

Not so perfect (5, Funny)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813295)

But can you build a whale tank with it?

Re:Not so perfect (5, Funny)

JoeDuncan (874519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813319)

No. You need transparent aluminum for that.

Re:Not so perfect (2)

Saija (1114681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813843)

and a pc with dragon naturally speaking...

Re:Not so perfect (5, Informative)

k31bang (672440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815425)

Yeah, we got that as well. I think it's called Aluminium oxynitride [wikipedia.org] . $15 a square inch. Fun stuff. ;-)

Re:Not so perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39815737)

What are you, all jumped up on LDS or something?

Re:Not so perfect (1)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813339)

With that remark, one might deduce that MIT had invented time travel...

Re:Not so perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813411)

Or been witness to it.

Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (5, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813317)

To me, it sounds like a very bold claim to eliminate all the drawbacks from anything. Maybe you made it a little bit better. But I don't think there is anything in this universe that you can eliminate all the drawbacks. I mean even eliminating a drawback tends to make a new drawback. Lets say you made glass so durable that it wouldn't fracture when hit with a hammer, then you might not want to use that glass in an emergency box which says,"In case of emergency, smash glass"

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813423)

Negative Nancy!

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813485)

lol oh goddddd what a dumb comment . slashdot, full of people who love quibbling over dumb technicalities

and this post was MODDED UP. you people are idiots

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813533)

You're right! I like dirty glass, so self-cleaning glass is a *hugs* drawback.

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813745)

If you'd of cleaned your glass you'd of spent less time hugging it and more time seeing the huge drawbacks of removing drawbacks.

'a little bit better' was quite harsh, but then the glass still doesn't go down on me or makes me breakfast.. until then I'll keep getting her to clean the windows.

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (2)

wickedskaman (1105337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814261)

Aww, that was nice! *hug* :)

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813909)

Lets say you made glass so durable that it wouldn't fracture when hit with a hammer, then you might not want to use that glass in an emergency box which says,"In case of emergency, smash glass"

That would only be a drawback if this new "super" glass, when synthesized, automatically replaces all existing glass. Or somehow makes it impossible to make regular glass. Also, most of those have been replaced with "OPEN in the case of emergency." Like as in the fire extinguisher is behind a door and you can just open it. Much less dramatic, which is, I suppose, a drawback. You'll still look like a hero putting out the fire, but without blood dripping down your arm while doing so, you'll lose a bit of heroicness.

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814163)

...Or in a car, in case the doors were obstructed after a crash...

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814495)

Lets say you made glass so durable that it wouldn't fracture when hit with a hammer, then you might not want to use that glass in an emergency box which says,"In case of emergency, smash glass"

You mean like plexiglass is so durable it won't fracture when hit with a hammer - but when grooved, breaks with a modest tug on a bit of string?
 
I.E. they'd no more use such glass in an emergency box without proper preparation than they would use current, bulletproof, glasses.

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814705)

To me, it sounds like a very bold claim to eliminate all the drawbacks from anything. Maybe you made it a little bit better.

From the summery:

MIT Researchers Invent 'Super Glass'

is not only crystal clear, but it also causes water droplets to bounce right off its surface, 'like tiny rubber balls.' The glass is self-cleaning, anti-reflective, and superhydrophobic.

The only drawback is trying to see through the "S shield."

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (5, Funny)

dumuzi (1497471) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815089)

And I would run into my patio door far more often. Damn clean glass.

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39815133)

The generic drawback to making a material tougher (ie, more resistant to fracture on impact) is that it must be softer (ie, less strong). This obviously doesn't hold when comparing different materials, but you can wave your hands around if you like (compare steel to, say, glasses and ceramics).

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (1)

aled (228417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815299)

To me, it sounds like a very bold claim to eliminate all the drawbacks from anything.

TFA says "to eliminate all of the drawbacks of glass". I guess it means "drawbacks of (current) glass". It says nothing about new drawbacks. Let's suppose Super Glass(tm) is deadly radioactive. You may say that's a drawback, but is not a drawback of current glass.

Re:Eliminates *all* the drawbacks to glass? (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815357)

Is it unbreakable? If yes, is it recyclable? On the other hand - I would like a superhydrophobic beer glass /funnel.

Vehicle Use? (3, Interesting)

teknoviking (1209728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813325)

If you could incorporate this in vehicles windshields, you'd have the same benefits and maybe not need mechanical wipers or defrosters.

Re:Vehicle Use? (2)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813551)

If you could incorporate this in vehicles windshields, you'd have the same benefits

I don't know - windshields are made of tempered and laminated glass, which doesn't shatter on impact (it contains a layer of plastic bonded between two sheets of glass; this layer keeps pieces together so you get spider web cracking instead of pieces falling off) and which breaks in small chunks (as opposed to sharp shards flying all over the place). To temper glass you have to treat it with heat, which may destroy the surface cones the MIT process describes.

Re:Vehicle Use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813845)

What's not saying you make the outside glass layer of this new stuff and the inside layer of glass from the current glass, you get benefit from new invention and stability and safety of current laminated benefits. Win-Win

Re:Vehicle Use? (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814263)

No idea if it's that easy, but when testing your windshield design, please take the time to consider if pedestrians and cyclists will just bounce right off as well.

Re:Vehicle Use? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39815347)

You mean if they somehow jump over the iron spikes in the front of the car?
What you mean what iron spikes?

Re:Vehicle Use? (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815127)

this would be a dream for film-makers wanting to shoot people in cars, but not wanting to use polarizing filters which make the female star's hair less impressive...

Re:Vehicle Use? (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814353)

Perhaps it could be an exterior piece of glass that was resin bonded to a conventional tempered glass windshield?

Re:Vehicle Use? (1)

dlingman (1757250) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814523)

Sounds good, until you're in a car on fire, and someone needs to smash the class to get you out...

Re:Vehicle Use? (3, Informative)

slippyblade (962288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815055)

Ever tried to break windshield glass? It doesn't. That's the whole point of windshield glass. If you watch the videos of rescuers pulling folks out through windshields, the windshield itself has been removed or pried to the side. Smashed, crazed, but still in effectively one piece.

Re:Vehicle Use? (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813839)

No wipers? This is sure to run afoul of the powerful Brotherhood of Parking Lot Leaflet Stuffers union. BoPLLS will be drafting model legislation to ban its use.

Re:Vehicle Use? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814059)

No wipers? This is sure to run afoul of the powerful Brotherhood of Parking Lot Leaflet Stuffers union. BoPLLS will be drafting model legislation to ban its use.

I doubt it, have you ever used that rain-x stuff that makes the water bead on your windshield? When I did, I found the beads of water to be very distracting while driving.

Re:Vehicle Use? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39815069)

Yes I have and I find the beads WAY less distracting than the two black moving bars flying across the windshield.

Re:Vehicle Use? (4, Informative)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815079)

That's funny, I am used to using rain-x. When it wears and I need to start using the wipers again, I find the huge chunks of metal and rubber whooshing past my face to be very distracting while driving.

It's all down to what you are used to :)

Plus Rain-X does a much better job of giving you good visibility in seriously heavy rain (imo).

Just one problem... (-1, Troll)

Kylon99 (2430624) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813327)

"There's just one, small, minor problem. It causes cancer," the researches have admitted. "But we think sales for this will take off in the next 2-3 years. We've already applied for the patents and I've already bought my yacht." .. I think I'm just being paranoid here. But there's always this feeling that any new material or substance will 'cause cancer,' most likely caused by reading too much junk news on bad reported science. 8)

Re:Just one problem... (1)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813399)

I blame California.

Re:Just one problem... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813473)

I blame California.

Second.

Those fuckers think everything causes cancer!

Course, the sad part is, they're probably right...

Re:Just one problem... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814069)

On the other hand, I live in CA, and don't have cancer, and therefore get to laugh snarkily whenever I hear about some kid who has cancer in some other state begging make-a-wish to give him a nice day.

Re:Just one problem... (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815197)

You don't have cancer . . . . . . yet.

Wait for it.

Re:Just one problem... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813791)

It causes cancer

In lab rats. Fed a steady diet of it.

Which only translates as a risk to circus geeks who eat broken glass. Nevertheless, it will be banned in California (on the theory that the entire state is populated by circus geeks).

Re:Just one problem... (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814575)

It is/We are. Welcome to California where we elect guys named Moonbeam to office. In our defense, you all promoted our astrology based governor to be president once...

how much does it cost (1)

laserdog (2500192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813329)

it better not be super expesnive otherwise who even cares if u have magic glass that bounces water off it

Re:how much does it cost (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814075)

Coming soon: the $900 iphone 6 featuring "MIT Glass". People will buy it anyway.

Re:how much does it cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814201)

Coming soon: the $900 iPhone 6 featuring "borosilicate cracks-when-you-look-at-it-funny glass". People will buy it anyway.

Forget tablets & phones... (4, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813331)

If this is as hydrophobic as they claim, I want a windshield made of the stuff.

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813493)

Hmmm.... Idea - hydrophobic beer bottles.

Would that even work?

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813529)

Hmmm.... Idea - hydrophobic beer bottles.

Would that even work?

No, 'cause then *all* of it would squirt out when you pop the top.

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813913)

Would make shotgunning a beer so much simpler to have it forced down (or even up) your throat under pressure. ;) No need to worry about swallowing slowing you down.

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (1)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813547)

Hmmm.... Idea - hydrophobic beer bottles.

Would that even work?

Instant Diet Coke + Mentos effect. Great for practical jokes, not so great for beer drinking.

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813665)

Great for practical jokes, not so great for beer drinking.

WTF are you talking about? This might be the greatest advancement in human history in hybridizing "beer bong" and "drinking from the fire hose". EVAR.

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814149)

It could be the basis for self pouring beer technology.

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814665)

I would think it would. It'd make for the ultimate recyclable bottle. If it's hydrophobic and is self-cleaning, at that point you give them a simple scrub and they're back to being reused. The real question to me would be durability. If I drop my beer, is it going to go everywhere, or stay in the bottle? I suppose at that point, if you think of the other comments in this section, it'd make for some interesting effects.....

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813585)

I'm thinking the same thing, and not just the windshield, but with every window. It seems like a permanent application of Rain-X that never fades. BTW, that stuff is awesome!

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (2)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814799)

you've not lived until you start buying rain-X brand windshield wiper fluid. It amounts to Rain-X that never fades because 'oh, the rain-x seems to have worn off' *press button* 'good to go!'

Re:Forget tablets & phones... (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814657)

If its as hydrophobic as they claim, I want a glass bottom boat made with it. It'd be awesome- just like a mag-lev, but on water!

I can see it now... (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813403)

...an influx of home videos of people running into sliding glass doors...and it is glorious.

Re:I can see it now... (5, Funny)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813675)

They might think they've made a breakthrough with this crystal clear non reflecting glass, but I just don't see it.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813709)

http://instantrimshot.com/ [instantrimshot.com]

This played in my head right after reading that.

Noooooo (3, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813415)

But then how can we buy new TV sets that actually look glossy and new!

solar panels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813419)

As long as it has good transparency for UV would this be good for solar panels. I mean self clean would save a lot of lives. Also would keep them running with less maintenance which always a good thing.

Re:solar panels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813593)

As long as it has good transparency for UV would this be good for solar panels. I mean self clean would save a lot of lives. Also would keep them running with less maintenance which always a good thing.

Really?!?! Are there lots of solar panel cleaning deaths that I haven't heard about?

Re:solar panels (2)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813765)

I think it's reasonable to assume that worldwide a number of window washers die on the job each year. I would hazard a guess that it would be a statistically significant amount considering the dangers inherent in swinging about on a rope several stories up with a bucket of sudsy water. But I really rather doubt it was much of a motivation for the scientists in MIT.

Sounds Relative (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813431)

So... does this mean our children will never have the experience of looking out the a window covered in drops of water on a rainy day? I know it's a stupid little thing, but there is something oddly therapeutic and beautiful about it. Almost sad that it might become a thing of the past.

Re:Sounds Relative (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813505)

Someone is writing an app for that right now...

And filling a patent.

Re:Sounds Relative (1)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814057)

Unless a government mandate forces you to install "super-glass" in all your current windows, I think you'll be safe to ponder the meaning of life with your children as beads of rainwater streak down the glass.

Or, worst case, they'll just make a "rainy day" channel for your TV... kinda how there's a yule log channel around the holidays.

Can't wait to tint it (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813483)

Maybe polish it up so it shines.

Cool...but a light diode would be neater (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813487)

What I'd really like to see is a type of glass that is transparent in one direction *ONLY*... regardless of illumination levels.

Re:Cool...but a light diode would be neater (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813907)

IN THIS HOUSE WE OBEY THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS!!! - Homer Simpson

And here's some more text to get around the caps filter. :)

Alas, (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813559)

the glass is more fragile than a nerd's dreams of world dominance and scoring hawt supermodels, so you'll have to layer it under mere mortal Gorilla glass, losing all of those amazing Super surface texturing effects. But at least it'll appear in the BoM, and on the marketing, and in the price. Particularly in the price.

"removes all drawbacks of glass" - overstatement. (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813613)

Generally speaking, you can see through it both ways... that's a huge drawback of glass in a lot of cases.

Tint or color, if any is present, is not changeable electronically

I expect also that this doesn't remove the disadvantage of having to replace an entire pane when it gets cracked... where having something you could treat in-place and the crack would simply disappear would be ideal.

Re:"removes all drawbacks of glass" - overstatemen (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814085)

I've seen glass with a frost layer sandwiched in the middle that was electronically unfrosted.

What we really... (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813719)

want to know is: Did it pass the finger smudge test?

Re:What we really... (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815319)

Agreed, there was nothing said about oily substance on the glass. I fear that, though they may have found a case for repelling water (for when I want to break out my tablet or HDTV in the pouring rain), body oil and what not will still be ever so wonderful to the screen for those who wish to see your swipe pattern (which you shouldn't be using, unless you use a stylus or carry a cloth with you.)

Less monitor cleanup for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813725)

...as long as it's superspermophobic.

Camera front elements (5, Interesting)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813751)

Wow, glass with those properties being used for front elements on camera lenses would be amazing. Anti-glare without having to resort to all sorts of coatings, no fogging or moisture would be great too, especially if you're shooting in very humid environments.

As long as the micro-structures on the surface didn't change the optical properties so much as to be detrimental to the incoming light.

Re:Camera front elements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814041)

Not to mention internal reflections, including light bouncing back from the sensor. It'll be very interesting to hear what the potential impact might be on lens design and manufacture, particularly for long telephotos, where the kinds of glass used are cooled over a period of many months.

Re:Camera front elements (4, Informative)

shimage (954282) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815271)

Wavefronts will reflect off of any surface where there is a change in wave speed. If the lens works as a lens, then it's hard to remove the reflections. Coatings work by reflecting the light back through the lens element (in a manner of speaking), so it still works well. If I understand the article correctly, some lab at MIT came up with a surface texture that causes water to bead. Probably the fact that it is very finely textured is the reason that reflections aren't a big problem. That is fine in the same way that matte screens are fine, but this isn't going to work if you want clear pictures. It might be ok on consumer lenses, though.

superhydrophobia (5, Funny)

trb (8509) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813755)

so this glass has really bad rabies?

Re:superhydrophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814403)

Please explain the joke you were trying to make. Thanks.

Re:superhydrophobia (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814821)

The joke works just fine, but it requires a degree of literacy to get it. Long ago, "hydrophobia" was the name given to what we now call rabies, as one of the early symptoms of the illness is that the person or animal stops drinking water and slowly becomes dehydrated.

I would say that superhydrophobia is when you shoot Old Yeller, and he just gets back up, angrier than before. That's when you notice he's wearing a cape.

Re:superhydrophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39815067)

Learnt something new, thanks!

no more fogging? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813903)

Swim goggles, FTW!!!

The Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin of Glass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813931)

This "removed all drawbacks" thing reminds me of this song by the Amateur Transplants! [youtube.com]

By eliminating *all* the drawbacks, we now have a material that is free, and can be sold for vast amounts to people for whom it's also free! It's the best weapon, and the best shield! It tastes like really fine wine when you lick it - and it cheers you up - and you'll live forever when you do! It generates electricity!! And it travels faster than light!!! Hurrah!!!

Or maybe they've reduced some of less desirable characteristics of glass for certain applications. Oh dear, that seems more likely.

For comparison... (5, Informative)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813937)

For comparison with a water droplet (the closer to 180 degrees you get, the closer to a perfect non-wettable/sticky surface you have):

This new glass (165 degree [googleusercontent.com] contact angle)
The upcoming Neverwet [neverwet.com] material (160 to 175 degrees)
Lotus leaf or even some birds' feather (150 degrees [wikipedia.org] )
Rain-X (110 degrees [cnet.com] - car windshield protector)
Teflon (95-110 [wordpress.com] degrees - surprisingly low, but then it needs to be tough and heat-proof)
Car wax (90 degrees)
Human skin (90 degrees [google.co.uk] - PDF warning)

I wonder what the durability of the glass is compared to Neverwet w(which is pervious to solvents, detergents, soap and high pressure water)...

Can super toast be far behind? (1)

ClaudeVMS (637469) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814021)

Prof Membrane

magnetic? (2)

incy_webb (1090779) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814141)

if they can just find some way to magnetize it we can clean up broken glass with a magnet....

Superhydrophobic? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814355)

How is this different than hydrophobic? Does water cross the street when it see this glass? Does the water bounce off the glass with a higher velocity than when it landed?

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814487)

This super clear glass has been invented countless times in the past but every other inventor has always misplaced it. Now, if MIT has a process to find that super clear glass then they're really onto something.

more applications ... (2)

perles (1855088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814493)

It seems to be a good glass to make lenses for telescopes.

What about crappy shiny laptop screens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814513)

How will smart ass laptop manufacturers piss off their customers now? Make the screens even wider and shorter?
A friend of mine asked me to fix their laptop, they had three custom browser bars installed, and the actual browser window was about 400 pixels high, ridiculous. Add to that the fact that all I could see in the screen was my face, or the ceiling lights above me, and it was almost impossible to see.

If is all as stated..then it has great application (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814555)

If is all as stated..then it has great application. Aircraft cockpit windows just for one. I am sure that fighter pilots would love to have clearer visibility ( at least thru the windows itself) while going 700+ mph in rain.

Endless uses include: (5, Insightful)

TankSpanker04 (1266400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814569)

Porn-friendly monitors?

Breakthrough? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814621)

Not sure that's the best word to use when you're talking about glass!

Sliding glass doors (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814629)

I can't wait to watch people walk into these all day long

Not April 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39815341)

Is my calendar wrong? Surely this is a joke.

That's the Spirit (3, Insightful)

alien-alien (471416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815389)

Spirit and Opportunity would have benefited greatly from glass that was self cleaning. Would not have needed to wait for Dust Devils and playful Mars Bunnies to clean off the photo cells.

Patents (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815543)

This is what patents are supposed to be for, instead of "sure we know its obvious but this time we did it with a computer!".

Superhydrophobic? (1)

ebillcoyne (1764036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815561)

It's the minerals in the water that leave a residue. The water may splash off, but some minerals linger, and over time, they build up. They need to be cleaned off with something.

Weight? (1)

SwampChicken (1383905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815579)

There is no mention of how light/heavy this new super-glass is? (when compared to regular glass)

Huge drawback: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39815751)

The nanotowers are very brittle and if touched, they just crumble into dust.
Unlikely ever to be used in any real world application where the surface
is exposed to people randomly touching it (touchscreen cell phone or even a monitor.)

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