Researchers as RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have succeeded in developing a paint that can absorb moisture and create energy. The paint contains a compound that both soaks in water vapors and acts as a semi-conductor to split the water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen. According to lead researcher and research fellow in the School of Engineering Torben Daeneke, "mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air." The product does not require filtered water, meaning it can be applied in remote areas as long as there is moisture in the air. [RMIT University News]

A team of researchers at MIT have developed technology for a liquid thermoelectric device that is capable of converting heat waste produced at high temperatures (such as glass or steel manufacturing) into energy. While solid-state thermoelectric devices can already convert heat waste into electricity, they often cannot function at the temperatures required in the industrial process and are therefore not implemented. This device makes the process uniquely affordable by using a molten tin and sulfur compound and can operate at temperatures of 1,742- to 1,965 degrees F. The team acknowledges that most manufacturers will not transition to this technology solely for environmental purposes, but may opt to do so if the liquid thermoelectric device can improve the productivity and lifespan of the equipment. They plan to have a working prototype completed within a year. [MIT News]

Courtesy of Lever Architecture

ICYMI: Lever Architecture's proposed 12-story wood tower, Framework, in Portland, Ore., is slated to become the nation's tallest timber structure and has been awarded a permit to begin construction. [ARCHITECT]

Researchers at Internet security company ESET, announced this week that a December 2016 power failure in Kiev, Ukraine, was most likely the result of a malware program called "Industroyer" or “Crash Override.” "Industroyer is a particularly dangerous threat," writes Anton Cherepanov, "since it is capable of controlling electricity substation switches and circuit breakers directly. To do so, it uses industrial communication protocols used worldwide in power supply infrastructure, transportation control systems, and other critical infrastructure systems (such as water and gas)." [We Live Security]

"Sketch Town"
Courtesy TeamLab via Pace Gallery Beijing "Sketch Town"

ICYMI: Pace Gallery Beijing's latest architectural exhibit by TeamLab showcases how technology can be inclusive, rather than isolating. [ARCHITECT]

Scientists from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology in Pohang, Republic of Korea, have developed an inexpensive technique for creating color-shifting nanoparticles that change color even when embedded into a material. The technology, which is inspired by the various colors that shimmer off of beetle shells in light, could be used in inks, microelectrodes for easier-to-read sensors, and anti-tampering tags, as they are difficult to modify once attached to a surface. [American Chemical Society]

American manufacturer Herman Miller has introduced its latest product, Live OS, a cloud-connected platform logging employees' posture and movement in an office environment. The new product includes a mobile application and an interactive dashboard, which connects to sensors that can be pre-installed or retrofitted for Herman Miller furnishings such as sit-to-stand tables. The sensors read users' movements, and send gathered data on table utilization to the cloud through a cellular network. This enables tables to remember users' preferred posture and to adjust themselves to previously saved positions once the user taps the desk control. The table also has the ability to send reminders to users to switch their posture by lighting up and vibrating. For further analysis, the interactive dashboard displays the data in the form of evolving insights to improve users' experience and to increase office performance. “Our initial testing indicates that employees using Live sit-to-stand desks have become more active, transitioning between sitting and standing six-times as often as previously recorded. We’re excited by these early results as we seek to improve comfort and encourage people to adopt healthier behaviors in the workplace," said Ryan Anderson, director of commercialization for Live OS, in a press release. Live OS will initially launch in North America with limited availability. [Herman Miller]

Tire company Michelin's latest project, BikeSphere, introduces a new smart laser lighting system for bikes to alert motorists to nearby cyclists at night. BikeSphere was initially a concept developed for Michelin's #TrendyDrivers campaign, which is aimed at increasing young drivers' safety on the streets. The smart lighting system has both standard headlight and taillight and is equipped with light and proximity sensors. As daylight dims, light sensors activate the system and a set of two bright red circles surrounds the bike. Proximity sensors, on the other hand, detect an approaching vehicle and project fast-orbiting red circles around the bike that are three-times brighter than the normal setting, alerting both the driver and the cyclist to their respective closeness. Designers are planning to provide open source access to the smart lighting system, allowing users to 3D print certain parts, to build their own versions, and to improve the design. A schematics and parts list will soon be released. [Digital Trends]