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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 2, No. 08. August 31, 2007
ISSN 1932-3018

Shape-shifting technology
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief focuses on improving the structural features of devices. It deals with shape shifting technology. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends it is concerned with the functionality of matter processing.
Improving the structural features of devices is a constant challenge for technology innovators. The problem is that structural features appropriate for one phase of an operation, may not be optimal for another.
One solution is for devices to shape-shift during operations. The evolution of this technology is progressing through three phases:
  • Component separation
  • Structural adjustment
  • Molecular modification
Examples of the first phase are routinely found in space vehicles. Space vehicles separate from their launch rockets.
A pertinent example of the second phase is SpaceShipOne that in 2004 won the 10 million dollar Ansari X Prize for private space flight. Not only did SpaceShipOne separate from the launch vehicle, but adjusted structurally in flight. The purpose was to "go up like a rocket and come down like a shuttlecock" and eventually become a glider. Further examples of the second phase are at present under design. These include "shape shifting cars that will brace for impact" (Simonite, Tom, NewScientistTech, 10 May 2006).
As shape-shifting technology becomes more current, technology executives and investment professionals should anticipate a surge of interest into the third phase, i.e., molecular modification. This will cause a confluence between shape-shifting concepts and intelligent materials, and yield a cluster of innovation opportunities.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.