A new shape-memory plastic that makes QR code labels look like Salvador Dali's famous floppy watch could prove useful in product and brand protection. Since codes can be read only when the labels are in their permanent, original shape, labels can store information that makes products tough to counterfeit. (Source: Bayer MaterialScience)
Good question, Greg. Since this is just out of R&D, there may not be any data on that yet. At least, I didn't see it mentioned. For one thing, it would depend on the type of plastic and its specific formulation.
While researching and writing this, I kept wondering what would happen if it were possible to coming memory plastic capabilities with the self-healing characteristics of the plastic that indicates by a color change when it's been damaged: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=242838 That would be one multi-function uber-material.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
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