LG be showing off a gaming-related concept product at its CES 2021 virtual showroom: a 48-inch 4K “Bendable CSO (Cinematic Sound OLED) display” that can switch between a flat screen and a curved screen. The idea is that you can enjoy watching videos in flat screen mode, and at the press of a button, the monitor morphs into a curved screen for more immersive gaming. There’s a 0.6mm-thick film exciter underneath, which turns the entire OLED panel into a speaker. This allows for a slimmer monitor, and with the audio coming directly from the screen, this apparently adds to the immersiveness of both gaming and video experience.
The new keyboard would feature tiny screens on each key, bringing the components to life. “Each key may have a movable key member and an associated key display. Control circuitry in the keyboard may direct the key displays to display dynamically adjustable key labels for the keys. Each key movable key member may be formed from a fiber optic plate,” states the patent. This could prove very useful if you often change from English to other languages particularly those with a different alphabet like Greek or Chinese. The new keyboard could open doors for new applications in gaming or design.
Producing clean water at a lower cost could be on the horizon after researchers solved a complex problem that had baffled scientists for decades, until now. The researchers determined desalination membranes are inconsistent in density and mass distribution, which can hold back their performance. Uniform density at the nanoscale is the key to increasing how much clean water these membranes can create. An increase in efficiency in the membranes tested by 30%-40%, meaning they can clean more water while using significantly less energy. That could lead to increased access to clean water and lower water bills.
A large study covering genetic information from over 1 million people has found evidence that blood iron levels could play a role in influencing how long you live. It focused on three key measures of ageing: lifespan, years lived free of disease and making it to an extremely old age. The findings suggest that having too much iron in the blood appeared to be linked to an increased risk of dying earlier. This study adds to the growing evidence that ‘iron overload’, or not being able to break it down properly, can have an influence on how long we’re likely to live, as well as how healthy we’re likely to be in our later years.
Chicago-based food processing company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and InnovaFeed, a French firm that makes insect protein for animal feed, plan to begin building what will be the world’s largest insect protein facility in 2021 in the city of Decatur in central Illinois. ADM and InnovaFeed plan to grow and harvest billions of an extraordinary insect called black soldier fly, whose larvae consume prodigious quantities of organic material and convert it into nutrient-rich protein that can then be sold as animal feed. They aim to produce up to 60,000 metric tons of animal feed protein per year and 400,000 tons of fertilizer.
A Japanese company and Kyoto University have joined forces to develop what they hope will be the world’s first satellites made out of wood by 2023. Sumitomo Forestry said it has started research on tree growth and the use of wood materials in space. The partnership will begin experimenting with different types of wood in extreme environments on Earth. Space junk is becoming an increasing problem as more satellites are launched into the atmosphere. Wooden satellites would burn up without releasing harmful substances into the atmosphere or raining debris on the ground when they plunge back to Earth.
Xi Jinping’s war on waste is set to be enshrined in law, with the submission of draft legislation to China’s highest legal committee recommending large fines for businesses that enable or promote wasting food. Under the draft law, food service operators face penalties if they induce or mislead consumers to “order excessive meals and cause obvious waste”. Offenders would be given a warning by local authorities, and face fines of up to 10,000 yuan (£1,140) if they fail to comply. It also would allow restaurants to charge patrons for excessive amounts of leftovers.
Nintendo Switch gaming stations are being rolled out to hospitals and health care systems across the country as the latest initiative to come out of a yearslong partnership between Nintendo of America and the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to bring happiness to seriously ill children and their families. “They provide choices for kids, motivate them, and give them the opportunity to have fun when it is needed most.” Starlight and Nintendo have delivered more than 7,200 gaming stations to more than 800 hospitals and health care facilities.