A step towards (even more) intelligent products?

U.K based researchers have recently succeeded in creating a promising nanoscale memory component. The device stores information employing nanoscale transistors made from zinc oxide. The data is stored electrically and is nonvolatile, i.e. it retains data when switched off, just like flash memory does. Naturally, there are still a couple of downsides to this brand new technology. Currently nanoscale memory cannot hold data for as long as flash, is slower and has fewer rewrite cycles. Given the fact that it is in an early developing stage it is nonetheless promising. Once made applicable, it could pave the way for a whole new class of electronic products. The main advantage being that it is made using simple processes at room temperature, it can be deposited on flexible plastic materials. Thus nanowire memory could go hand in hand with OLEDs facilitating truly flexible or wearable electronics. Moreover, it will enhance the possibilities of miniaturization where necessary. Further, there is a huge potential e.g. with devices for augmented reality. A whole system of heads-up display plus all the peripheral components might be entirely incorporated in sunglasses, gloves and the like. Although a lot of work still needs to be done, we as designers might as well start thinking about the product opportunities and future scenarios right now.

For more info see: http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/26580/page1/

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