Music Made Visible? Harvesting Energy from Light?

Music Made Visible -- Transparent Polyurethane Body Makes It Possible to Incorporate Dazzling Optical Functions
Many children and young people, as well as adults, dream of learning a musical instrument that is not only easy to play but also easy to carry around. Making music is even more fun when it is associated with completely new and special experiences. Bayer MaterialScience has taken on the challenge of making this dream a reality, and together with its partners is developing a concept for a futuristic cello. The use of a transparent plastic material makes the instrument lightweight and also makes it possible to incorporate a whole series of optical effects. The company is exhibiting a visionary prototype of this "Cello 2.0" at K 2013 in Düsseldorf, October 16-23, 2013.

Scientists Demonstrate New Method for Harvesting Energy from Light
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated a new mechanism for extracting energy from light, a finding that could improve technologies for generating electricity from solar energy and lead to more efficient optoelectronic devices used in communications.

Foamy Sneakers
Manufacturers are permanently on the lookout for cutting edge technologies and innovative materials. adidas is also constantly further developing its running shoes. The company, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, has been supported by BASF materials experts for more than 20 years. Using BASF’s new foam Infinergy™, adidas has now developed the Energy Boost, a thoroughly new running shoe with unique spring and cushioning properties. Its outstanding feature is the midsole, the central element of every running shoe. It is made from a new particle foam which absorbs the shock impact on the foot during jogging, while simultaneously cushioning the foot. The high rebound effect of the material provides the runner with an energy return not offered by any other running shoe.

Driver’s License Chips Soon Will Allow Government to Track You
Some state governments are adding a new technology called radio frequency identification chips (also known as RFIDs) to driver’s licenses that will make it easy – critics say — for state officials to track citizens. The technology is not new; it is used by large retailers like Walmart to track shipments and in next generation credit cards. Such RFID chips are already being implanted in driver’s licenses in four states: Michigan, Vermont, New York, and Washington.

PayPal Tests Mobile Payments Using Your Face for Verification
Source: Lance Whitney,
A new trial in the U.K. lets people pay for items using the PayPal app, a mobile phone, and a photo to prove their identity. Using the PayPal app for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, shoppers can see nearby participating merchants highlighted on their mobile phones. They can then "check into" a certain store by clicking on its name and pay for an item by sliding an animated pin down the screen. The person's name and photo then pops up on the store's payment system. After the customer agrees to pay for the item, the cashier clicks on the person's photo to send the payment through.