Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything

David Wagner, Managing Editor | 4/25/2014 | 100 comments

David Wagner
With the exception of a few weirdoes out there (you know who you are), all of us hate cleaning. No wonder. Every second we spend cleaning is another second we can't spend reading the Geekend.

Fear not, loyal readers. Soon you will have more time to share with your favorite feature. Practically everything is about to become self-cleaning, from your car to your windows to your clothes.

Perhaps the most fun display of the new technology is the self-cleaning car announced by Nissan. It is as easy as a paint job. The new paint resists dirt, dust, and oil, because its structure creates a tiny layer of air between the car and the dirt. In the video below, half a car has been covered in traditional paint. The other half is covered in the new self-cleaning paint.

As you can see, the dirt actually behaves differently when it touches the self-cleaning half of the car. Rather than spreading out and filling into the pores of the paint and making the whole car dirty, the dirt clumps and rolls right off. Mud just sheets like rain off a good wax job.

You can see a similar effect with self-cleaning glass. MIT researchers have invented a glass that is smudge free, fog free, glare free, and self-cleaning. Here's the video.

Just like the paint, the glass is about structuring a layer of nanoparticles that repel the dirt. And tiny cones etched into the glass defeat the glare. There are countless fantastic applications for a material like this. The top two that come to mind are smartphone displays that resist finger smudges and eyeglasses that are glare free and always clean.

Some self-cleaning glass has been used on the sides of buildings for years, but it doesn't have all the properties of MIT's new material. You can expect multiple companies to continue to improve the process for quite some time.

I really see only one problem with this. Glass with no glare? No fogging? It seems like we'll see a lot more of these incidents.

That's all fine and good, but we're talking about hard objects that are relatively easy to clean. It is even a little nice to wash the car on a warm summer weekend. What about the stuff that's harder to clean?

Harvard researchers have invented self-cleaning clothes. Now that's a breakthrough. No more laundry seems like a good idea to me.

The clothes are interesting, because they actually work on a different principle than the car and the glass. The clothes don't use nanoparticles to create a layer of air. They use a small layer of water. Stains and dirt literally skid off the clothes and can't deposit themselves. The air-layer concept won't work on clothes because they have to stretch, twist, and bend. That disturbs the cushion effect.

The clothes still aren't as comfortable as traditional fabrics (because they don't breathe well yet), but we can already see applications in laboratories, for handling hazardous material, and in the military. The assumption is that developers eventually will make these materials more comfortable.

Add all these up, and it is hard to imagine we'll be washing much of anything in a few years. Anything we can paint (from your backyard BBQ to your car to your toilet) will be forever clean. Anything that is made of glass (from your dishes to your windows) will always be nice and shiny. Even things made of fabrics, such as clothes and furniture, will stay like new forever.

What do you think? What is the first self-cleaning thing you want in your house? Is there anything you don't want to be self-cleaning? Something you enjoy cleaning? Comment below.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 10   >   >>
Joe Stanganelli   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/8/2014 1:14:53 PM
Re: how lazy.
@Dave: Sounds like she's ready for the Kobayashi Maru.
David Wagner   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/8/2014 12:00:16 PM
Re: how lazy.
@Joe- Thanks. Always looking for recommendations. 

But they are always have a mix bag of success. My favorite was about clothing choices. If you just stick a kid in something they will usually cry because they want something else. But if you ask them "do you want to wear the green shirt or the red shirt" they wll answer and usually be happy. 

So great. I get all excited about this. And i try it with my daughter when she was two. On a nice warm summer day I say, "do you want to wear your sneakers or your sandles" and without skipping a beat she says, "my rain boots!"



Joe Stanganelli   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/8/2014 8:01:23 AM
Re: how lazy.
@Dave: FWIW, while working on a research paper about strategies for interviewing and counseling child clients, I came across a fantastic book called "What Did I Just Say?"  It's a parenting book, but it delves into child psychology and language development -- getting into why children don't do what they're told -- and how to communicate with them so that they do.

Of course, I'm not a parent, so it's easy for me to point at a book and say, "Oh, read this!"  Still, it was an interesting and humorous read.
Joe Stanganelli   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/6/2014 8:13:54 AM
Re: Re : Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything
Reminds me of that old Jack Handey quote from SNL...

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."
Joe Stanganelli   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/6/2014 8:12:17 AM
Re: how lazy.
It is a good tip...but in reality what I usually wind up doing is just wearing my wrinkly pants around the house until they're presentable enough for the outside world.
batye   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/6/2014 1:07:20 AM
Re: Re : Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything
intresting point...  but what would Noah have to say about it???
Joe Stanganelli   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/3/2014 1:03:41 AM
Re: how lazy.
If we had auto-cleaning bodies, self-cleaning bathrooms might be less necessary.  ;)
Ariella   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/1/2014 11:53:47 AM
Re: Re : Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything
@David indeed, unfortunately, it didn't do much for my deck. 
David Wagner   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/1/2014 11:39:41 AM
Re: Re : Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything
Rain: God's own power washer. :)
Ariella   Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything   5/1/2014 8:36:39 AM
Re: Re : Geekend: Self-Cleaning Everything
@Joe ha, well it got really heavy last night. But I really don't thnk anyone wants 40 consecutive days of it.
Page 1 / 10   >   >>


The blogs and comments posted on EnterpriseEfficiency.com do not reflect the views of TechWeb, EnterpriseEfficiency.com, or its sponsors. EnterpriseEfficiency.com, TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from David Wagner
David Wagner   5/30/2014   21 comments
For almost three and a half years I have had the pleasure and real privilege to write the Geekend for you every Friday. Fortunately, that privilege isn't ending, it is just moving to our ...
David Wagner   5/23/2014   69 comments
Most of us have gone through the pain of losing a beloved pet. Maybe you lived a long and happy life together, and it died peacefully. Maybe it was tragically struck down by a car or a ...
David Wagner   5/22/2014   47 comments
It is a rare thing when you find me advocating for the government to get more involved in regulating technology, but when it comes to the Internet of Things, that is what I'm advocating. ...
David Wagner   5/21/2014   13 comments
E2 has long trumpeted the days when 3D printers would sit on our desks and print prototypes, consumer goods, and even body parts right from our desk, but a new cloud manufacturing company ...
David Wagner   5/16/2014   40 comments
With Disney's success with the Avengers franchise, geeks everywhere are being treated to an outrageously large number of TV shows and movies based on comic book superhero characters. For ...
Latest Archived Broadcast
We talk with Bernard Golden about accelerating application delivery in the cloud.
On-demand Video with Chat
Register for this video discussion to learn how tablets can provide true business usability and productivity.
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
[email protected]
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool
The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise.

Read the full report
The State of Enterprise Efficiency in the Virtual Era: Virtualization – Smart Approaches to Maximize Gains
Virtualization is a presence in nearly all enterprise data centers. But not all companies are using it to its best effect. Learn the common characteristics of success, what barriers companies face, and how to get the most from your efforts.

Read the full report
Informed CIO: Dollars & Sense: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Cut through the VDI hype and get the full picture -- including ROI and the impact on your Data Center -- to make an informed decision about your virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

Read the full report
SPONSORED BY DELL
CASE STUDIES
EBOOKS
PUBLIC SECTOR RESOURCES
VIDEOS
WHITE PAPERS
WINDOWS SERVER 2012 RESOURCES
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 Video


On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments


Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   11 comments


The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   6 comments


TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments


The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments


Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments


IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments


TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments


TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   6 comments


The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments


The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Tom Nolle
The Big Reason to Use Office

3|18|14   |   02:24   |   46 comments


Office and personal productivity tools come in a first-class and coach flavor set, but what makes the difference is primarily little things that most users won't encounter. What's the big issue in using something other than Office, and can you get around it?
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Mobile Security — A Use Case

3|4|14   |   04:27   |   16 comments


New mobile security solutions can accommodate a wide array of needs, including those of a complex university environment.
Tom Nolle
Killing Net Neutrality Might Save You Money

1|16|14   |   2:13   |   16 comments


The DC Court of Appeals voided most of the Neutrality Order, and whatever it might mean for the Internet overall, it might mean better and cheaper Internet VPNs for businesses.
Tom Nolle
The Internet of Everythinguseful

1|10|14   |   2:18   |   19 comments


We really don't want an "Internet of Everything" but even building an Internet of Everythinguseful means setting some ground rules to insure there's value in the process and that costs and risks are minimized.
Tom Nolle
Maturing Google Chrome

12|30|13   |   2.18   |   25 comments


Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
Sara Peters
No More Cookie-Cutter IT

12|23|13   |   03.58   |   21 comments


Creating the right combination of technology, people, and processes for your IT organization is a lot like baking Christmas cookies.
Sara Peters
Smart Wigs Not a Smart Idea

12|5|13   |   3:01   |   46 comments


Sony is seeking a patent for wigs that contain computing devices.
Tom Nolle
Cloud in the Wild

12|4|13   |   02:23   |   15 comments


On a recent African trip I saw examples of the value of the cloud in developing nations, for educational and community development programs. We could build on this, but not only in developing economies, because these same programs are often under-supported even in first-world countries.
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Is Malware Evading Your IPS?

11|18|13   |   03:16   |   4 comments


Intrusion prevention software is supposed to detect and block malware intrusions, but clever malware authors can evade your IPS in these five main ways.
Sara Peters
Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

9|27|13   |   3:15   |   38 comments


A good professional mentor can change your life for the better... but where do you find one?
Tom Nolle
SDN Wars & You Could Win

9|17|13   |   2:10   |   5 comments


VMware's debate with Cisco on SDN might finally create a fusion between an SDN view that's all about software and another that's all about network equipment. That would be good for every enterprise considering the cloud and SDN.
Ivan Schneider
The Future of the Smart Watch

9|12|13   |   3:19   |   39 comments


Wearing a bulky, oversized watch is good training for the next phase in wristwatches: the Internet-enabled, connected watch. Why the smartphone-tethered connected watch makes sense, plus Ivan demos an entirely new concept for the "smart watch."
Tom Nolle
Cutting Your Cloud Storage Costs

9|4|13   |   2:06   |   3 comments


Cloud storage costs are determined primarily by the rate at which files are changed and the possibility of concurrent access/update. If you can structure your storage use to optimize these factors you can cut costs, perhaps to zero.
Sara Peters
Do CIOs Need an IT Background?

8|29|13   |   2:11   |   23 comments


Most of the CIOs interviewed in the How to Become a CIO series did not start their careers as IT professionals. So is an IT background essential?
Ivan Schneider
The Internet Loves Birthdays

8|27|13   |   3:25   |   69 comments


The Internet has evolved into a machine for drumming up a chorus of "Happy Birthday" messages, from family, friends, friends of friends who you added on Facebook, random people that you circled on G+, and increasingly, automated bots. Enough already.