Transparency

  • Three years ago, we heard how scientists from Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology had created transparent wood – it could serve as a cheaper alternative to the silica-based glass used in windows and solar cells. Now, the material is additionally able to store heat and later release it.
  • GMC has introduced its new Sierra HD, which will offer drivers no less than 15 different camera views to help maneuver the giant truck – and one of them will let you look right back through the trailer you're towing, allowing you to see what's behind you as if the trailer wasn't there at all.
  • Researchers have developed a new polymer film that’s transparent, looks and feels like glass, and conducts electricity. The material is easy to manufacture on a large scale, should be less expensive than the commonly-used, inorganic indium tin oxide, and is more conductive than other polymers.
  • ​Solar panels are great and all, but they can be a bit of an eyesore. Researchers are finding ways to make them transparent, allowing them to hide on windows, walls or other surfaces. Now an MIT team has developed solar cells that are not only invisible but flexible, thanks to graphene electrodes.
  • It's an exciting time in display technologies, with flexible and transparent screens popping up regularly, albeit in the lab rather than on our devices. LG just set a new high bar though, with a huge 77-inch OLED screen that you can see through and roll up.
  • Science
    The "Corruption Perceptions Index" scores countries out of 100 for their public sector honesty, and the just-released 2016 report paints a bleak picture. More countries declined than improved and just 54 countries scored better than 50.
  • Self-healing is an increasingly common ability in the world of new materials. Now, researchers have developed a stretchy, transparent material that can not only repair itself, but act as an ionic conductor, opening the possibility for self-healing artificial muscles.
  • Science
    Researchers at the Pusan National University in South Korea have developed an advanced light shutter that can rapidly switch between transparency and opaqueness in less than a millisecond, paving the way for displays that become see-through at the flick of a switch.
  • In an effort to make bitcoin more attractive to a wider range of legitimate businesses, students at Trinity College Dublin are looking for ways to increase transparency in transactions without ditching the anonymity altogether and believe a "credit-check" database could be one answer.
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation and other information privacy advocates have created Canary Watch, a database of common online companies' acknowledgments that they have not been ordered by government entities to release private user information.
  • Science
    What if your house's windows could automatically reduce the amount of hot sunlight passing through them, or your car's windshield could cause rain droplets to bead off to its edges? These things and more could soon be possible, thanks to a new animal hair-inspired material developed at MIT.
  • Science
    Imagine if biological tissue could be made transparent – seeing tagged cells within it would be sort of like looking at three-dimensional bubbles inside an ice cube. Well, that's just what a team at Caltech have done using a technique known as PARS, or perfusion-assisted agent release in situ.