Say goodbye to those pesky fingerprints that blur your iPhone screen and sully your kitchen appliances: NBD Nanotechnologies has introduced a patented coating solution, InvisiPrint, that prevents fingerprint marks from showing up on glass and metal surfaces. While there are other products already out on the market that can clean fingerprints off of surfaces, there hasn’t yet been one that prevents fingerprints altogether.
The complex formula is able to diffuse the oil from your finger onto the surface with which it's making contact, allowing the light to pass through without being distorted by the fingerprint. This, to the naked eye, makes it seem like the fingerprint isn’t even there.
This is another step forward in NBD’s project to provide “wettability” solutions to everyday products. Wettability encompasses solutions that make plastic, glass, metal, and paint products repellant to water, dirt, oil, and chemicals. While these solutions are extremely useful in warding off unwanted liquids and chemicals, they represent something much more important: the trend toward nanotechnology.
What Is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is a very broad term that involves the creation of devices or machines that attend to the nanometer scale. It allows for a whole range of technology opportunities due to the unique properties afforded at such a small scale.
A nanometer, for reference, is the size of a couple atoms or a small molecule. Nanotechnology takes place within the 1-100 nanometer range.
Why Should We Care?
Nanotechnology is everywhere. Stain and wrinkle-resistant clothes, scratch-resistant paint, and transparent zinc oxide sunscreen all utilize some form of nanotechnology, be it nano-whiskers, nanoparticles, or nanotubes. By creating products that can manipulate the properties of an object on such a small level, companies can introduce a whole new universe of solutions that seem unattainable and can do it more sustainably and cheaply.
We're also seeing rapid improvement every year. Last year, a group of engineers successfully built a one nanometer long transistor for a computer chip, as opposed to the 15 nanometer transistor you’d find in an Intel computer chip in 2009. This rapid improvement in nanotechnology means significant improvements with the everyday technology that we use.
It also means that a technological revolution is rapidly approaching. Nanotechnology is paving the way for unforeseen possibilities to become legitimate realities. Iron nanoparticles that clean poisonous water and tiny robots that travel through the digestive system to record information are concrete inventions that are only a marketing strategy away from being used on a mass scale.
As we look ahead into the future of nanotechnology, we need to prepare ourselves for a whole new era of innovation and realize that sweating the small stuff is going to make our lives a whole lot safer and easier.
Photo: Flickr / Milosz1