A few weeks ago in a post on how LED technology was changing the lighting industry, I noted:
"LED lighting should be on our list of technological disruptions to watch over the rest of this decade."
Well, it seems there are other technologies that may further disrupt the prosaic lighting industry.
The U.S. military will use a flexible, lightweight and, yes, crushable light panel made from an electroactive polymer-based material to light up tents and other "softwall" shelters. These SuperFlex panels can be folded, spindled and even stabbed and still kick out either visible or near-infrared light.
Produced by Crosslink of St. Louis, SuperFlex promises to turn almost any object into a light source thanks to a polythiophene-based, conductive polymer known as PEDOT.
Virtually anything--textiles, composites, plastics or metals--can be coated with SuperFlex and then plugged into any AC outlet, according to Gizmag. (Consider a foldable map that emits its own light.)"
This could also be pretty cool for lighting on awnings and canopies, both for commercial and residential markets. In fact, this could be something whose uses are limited only by our imagination. The original Gizmag article has a lot more detail.
Can't wait to see it live.