This idea: It may sound like something dreamed up for a sci-fi show, but liquid glass is now real.
It’s called Quantum LiquiGlas and you can spray or apply it to practically any surface, giving you an anti-microbial, easy-to-clean barrier that will last for several months, according to the product’s creators.
By extracting silicon dioxide from sand and combining it with water or ethanol, scientists turned glass into a liquid that can be sprayed on anything from furniture and clothes to toys.
The liquid glass forms a clear, flexible coating that is only 100 nanometers thick (about 500 times thinner than a human hair) and is resistant to bacteria.
Whose idea: German company Nanopool
Why it’s brilliant: It can repel stains from clothing, dirt from cars and even bacteria. Liquid glass has also been used to protect walls and monuments against graffiti, which can then be easily washed off.
It is already being used in hospitals in the U.K. and Turkey and a meat-processing factory in Germany. Americans can expect to get their hands on it later this year.
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