Visionary plans for ‘roll-up’ TVs, smart contact lenses and invisible computers

"Roll-up" TVs, smart contact lenses and invisible computers are being developed after a major breakthrough, the Daily Star can reveal.

Scientists have created a new crystal that can be used to make computer displays naked to the human eye and boost smartphone battery life.

The revolutionary material was developed following 10 years of research and could soon allow today's electrical circuits look just like glass and bend like paper.

The semi-conductor is 200,000 times thinner than a human hair at a few atoms thick but "what really sets the material aside" is that it's as fast as silicon-based ones found everywhere.

And it could even be on its way to space as it is being applied to make solar panels capture UV and infra-red light as well.

Study author Dr Torben Daeneke reckons bilayer beta tellurium dioxide will catch on fast as it allows contact lenses connect to the internet and have an inbuilt display.

The Australian academic at of RMIT University told us: "In the distant future this might be an option. Current designs for smart contact lenses are more focused on biomedical applications.

"There are designs being developed where smart contact lenses are used to measure biomedical data such as the glucose level etc. This can be tremendously helpful for people with diabetes.

"For these devices to work we would need fast electronics that are transparent. Our material could find use in data processing in such devices as well drive the required electronics in an inbuild display."

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He added: "A smart window would find applications in many situations. The product would essentially be a fully transparent display that is integrated in the window. If the display is switched off it simply appears as a window. If it is active it acts like a flat screen smart TV.

"The applications of this could be quite far reaching, including home electronics, advertisement as well as electronics that can be incorporated in public transport, cars etc.

"One would essentially replace the old school display in some situations by integrating it into a see through window. This will free up space at home or in the car that can be used for other purposes.

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"Since our material is ultrathin and flexible we could also design flexible displays that are see through. This would enable the design of a ‘roll up’ TV."

Mobile phones and other LCD displays "will become much more energy efficient" and: "Ultimately having a low energy display means longer lasting batteries in your mobile phone."

Solar cells are being looked at as power sources for extra-terrestrial human bases on the Moon, Mars and beyond.

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Dr Daeneke added: "The material we developed concludes a decades long search for a high mobility oxide semiconductor that operates using positively charged holes rather than negatively charged electrons."

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