Solar Foil

5 September 2008 at 0:05 | Posted in Green Energy, Green Initiatives, Ideas, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Solar Power | Leave a comment
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[Category: Ideas. If you are new to my blog please read the “About itimes3” page first]

This is merely an idea, although there are so many initiatives under way globally in the field of solar energy that this will hopefully be a reality sooner rather than later.

Imagine a roll of bitumen roofing, the type of thick “black paper” that is rolled out onto flat roofs and “glued” to the roof my partially melting the material using a burner of some sort.

Now imagine a similar type and size of roll, but the material is metallic. The roll gets deployed in much the same fashion, and will probably be glued to the roof, possibly using a “sticky” reverse side, which can be exposed by removing a protective cover, and the glue of which would be waterproof and withstand prolonged outdoor use.

The material is Solar Foil, a type of material that acts like one big solar cell (in fact, it will probably be using masses of small solar cells on its surface, or even nano-technology based material).

Below the surface of the material there will be a mesh of conductive channels, where the power that is generated accumulates.

To “tap” the power generated by the solar foil, a simple connector is connected to any part of the mesh of conductive channels (at the side of a sheet of the foil), and attached to a device that can store and/or standardize the power.

This structure makes it possible to cut the Solar Foil into any required size (ideally it should be possible to cut it with strong normal scissors), and as long as the mesh of different sheets of Solar Foil is connected at least at one location, the entire surface covered with connected sheets of Solar Foil will act as one large single solar cell.

It will be possible to use this material on roofs and sides of buildings, on roofs of vehicles, and on most other surfaces outside, flat or curved, as long as the material can be stuck onto it.

If the material is sufficiently sensitive, it could also be used indoors – for example I could have a sheet of it somewhere on my desk (for example hanging off the back of my computer monitor, facing artificial or natural light) and it could be used to recharge my cell phone. Similar uses could be thought of in the home, where it could be used to recharge sets of rechargable batteries, for example.

If you like this idea and you work in a type of industry where this is relevant, I would be happy to discuss in more detail, answer questions or assist in other ways. For details and contact information please see the “About itimes3” page.

George Spark

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Passport of the Future

11 August 2008 at 19:32 | Posted in Airport Security, Aviation Security, Electronic Identification, Ideas, IT Security, passport, Security | Leave a comment
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[Category: Ideas. If you are new to my blog please read the “About itimes3” page first]

Yesterday a friend of mine, who is prone to forgetting his passport as well as losing it from time to time due to forgetfulness, asked me: “George, what do you think is the future of passports?”. He was wondering whether there would ever be a better solution than having to remember carrying a small booklet around the world to prove his identity.

So I gave him my vision of the future of passports, which I believe will be more or less as follows:

First there will be a process of (further) standardisation, computerisation and globalisation. This may lead to the passport as a booklet being replaced, say in 10 to 20 years, by a smart card of some sort (probably a credit card sized plastic document with embedded RFID-type chip). The smart card will contain all relevant user data including travel history, biometric identification data, photo, etc.

All the technology is available, main problems are with global standardisation and systems integration (which can only happen as fast as politicians work, e.g. generally slow) as well as with security.

Once this stage has been reached, further convergence will be possible, towards everyone carrying only one card or similar item which contains the passport data, but which can be loaded with additional functionality such as driver license data, bank card data, health records, phone data, and random additional items such as gym access, security access to buildings, cars, etc. etc.

The main issue there once again will be security, but it will be possible to overcome this (although of course nothing is ever totally secure). The card data may be transferable to authorized devices such as cellphones (so the cellphone could be used as passport, etc.) or for the owner to create a read-only backup copy.

The next step after this will be embedding. The “converged passport” will be embedded into the body in the form of an implanted chip, much like more basic chips (usually based on RFID technology) are already implanted in animals and in some humans.

At this stage, more data will likely be added to the implant (for example it would be nice if we could carry our computer data within our body). Our body would communicate with various wireless networks as we walk down the street (for example receiving messages), access buildings, our bank accounts, enter new countries, enter our cars (which will only start with us or an authorized person at the wheel), etc.

As an added form of security, DNA sequencing should be fast enough at this stage to allow it to be used for authentication purposes (perhaps not sequencing someone’s entire DNA, but a few key points that are unique idetifiers, much like fingerprint scanning only scans for a few unique identifiers and does not deal with the entire fingerprint).

So I answered my friend that in the end, we will be our passports: all current passport data – and much more – will be carried within our bodies.

If you like this idea and you work in a type of industry where this is relevant, I would be happy to discuss in more detail, answer questions or assist in other ways. For details and contact information please see the “About itimes3” page.

George Spark

Disclaimer: Any trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
All usage of this site is entirely at users risk.

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