Micro Reactor Systems Creates Frank Herbert's Polawindows

In his 1972 novel The Godmakers, Frank Herbert wrote about special windows that could be clear or opaque with the touch of a button:

Orne returned to his room to change for dinner, stopped at the polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission. The quick darkness of these latitudes had pulled an ebony blanket over the landscape. Distant cityglow painted a short yellow horizon off to the left. An orange halo remained on the peaks where Marak's three moons would rise.
(Read more about Frank Herbert's polawindows)

It appears that these windows are ready to go. According to Nikkei, electronic curtains just 0.4 millimeter thick uses liquid crystals to opaque the otherwise clear plastic sheet. When you want to see out the window, flip the switch and the Micro Reactor System curtains become as clear as glass - just like a polawindow.

A typical office window would use only a few pennies per month in electricity.

Read a bit more here; thanks to Edward Willett for finding this item for us.

Update Jun-01-06: It turns out that there are various ways to achieve this effect; see the discussion for this page.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/31/2006)

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