Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, May 17, 2007

...You Might Be Wearing Nanotech

When it comes to nanotechnology, we've already pointed out that the public is blissfully unaware. I'm not sure why advertisers aren't making more of a fuss about it; perhaps they're wary of a negative reaction from consumers who may be a bit frightened by it. It's possible that people who would accept it, even welcome it, don't have as much money as the fraidy cats. But this is all speculation.

The point is nanotechnology is being incorporated into the products we use every day...about 475 of them at last count. Would you like to know what these products are?

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies has a nice list at this web site. From facial creams to automotive wax, from chinos to ice axes, nanotech is finding its way into everyday consumer products.

Many of them incorporate nano silver coating materials that can be applied on metal products such as water taps, door locks, knives, forks, scissors, trays, etc. The coatings provide the objects with a permanent antibacterial property.

Then there are clothes that are coated with nanospheres, making the materials non-staining and easy to clean. And don't miss out on the shaving razors with alpha diamond-coated blades that stay sharp, and tennis racquets made with a matrix of carbon fibers and a new crystalline metal alloy, allowing for a metal with a grain 1,000-times finer than normal.

These are all very nice applications of nanotech which make products, cleaner, tougher and lighter. The really mindblowing stuff is yet to come, however. When literally anything can be constructed a molecule at a time from inexpensive raw materials, we will be in Star Trek replicator territory. That will take a bit longer, so stay tuned.

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