Imagine your physical textbook connected to the Internet, or your Holographic Smart Phone? Think that is way too far out (year 2100)? Think again my friend. Who knows maybe the iPhone 12 will have Spectral Imaging or Holographic projection and your old style paper textbook will be printed with carbon nanowire ink? Sounds like the IoT (Internet of Things) is about to affect and connect our college students at study hall level, and really why not? I mean college textbooks are a complete rip-off at $300 each, so why not integrate some real technology into them so they can fairly garner those outrageous prices?
Let’s talk about this potential eventuality and probable interim future shall we?
You see, there was an interesting article/paper in NASA Tech Briefs News in September of 2017 titled; “Nanowire ‘Inks’ for Paper-Based Printable Electronics – Highly conductive films make functional circuits without adding high heat,” by researchers at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. The paper noted that things are moving along and the research found that:
“Electrons usually flow easily through individual nanostructures, but get stuck when they have to jump from one structure to the next. Long nanowires greatly reduce the number of times the electrons have to make this jump. The resistivity of the long silver nanowire films was several orders of magnitude lower than silver nanoparticles, and only 10 times greater than pure silver. Aerosol jets are being investigated for printing silver nanowire inks in usable circuits.”
In other words, this technology is possible now or in a short amount of time, and as academic researchers study this, why not implement it in-house at the University to try it out? Today, these researchers are looking for licensees to take this patented process to the next level and of course the applications are endless – perfect for Magazine Ads, Instructions, Maps, Manuals, Textbooks, Appliances, normal furniture surfaces or clothing with WiFi or IoT connections.
Indeed, if I was a student paying for a $300+ textbook, I’d expect it to have all the bells and whistles of the future, and that future is now, not in 2100, so let’s hold these researchers feet to the fire and see that they deliver this technology to the world rather than just talk about it and soak more taxpayer monies in NSF research grants. There is no reason they cannot start experimenting with this in-house at the University today, then entrepreneurs and start-ups, perhaps even the large textbook publishers will see it and bring this technology to the real world too?