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12/01/2008 11:02 AM     print story email story  

Solar Sidewalks Within Five Years News

Within the next five years, thin-film solar technology will be embedded into sidewalks, driveways, sididing, paint, rooftops and windows, according to a report by IBM (NYSE: IBM)

In its annual "Next Five in Five," report, IBM researchers said these and other surfaces exposed to sunlight will be utilized to produce electricity as the cost of producing thin-film solar technologies is expected to drop steeply.

Thin-film solar cells can be 100 times thinner than silicon-wafer cells and can be produced at significantly lower costs, due to advances in production processes that allow them to be "printed" and arranged on a flexible backing, suitable for not only the tops, but also the sides of buildings, tinted windows, cell phones, notebook computers, cars and even clothing.

The Next Five in Five is a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. The other innovations cited in this year's report include personalized genetic maps for preventative health care and advances in voice recognition software that may do away with computer keyboards. 

Follow the link to read about these.


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