Who needs streetlights when you’ve got glow-in-the-dark streets?

who needs streetlights when youve got glow in the dark streets starpath glowing pathway

Remember those glow-in-the-dark stars you stuck on your ceiling as a kid? The ones that you could shine a light on for a second to make them glow brighter? Well, a UK company called Pro-Teq is now using that same technology to provide a low-cost way to illuminate streets and walkways.

Brilliant, right? It’s kind of mind boggling that nobody thought of doing this before, especially since those glowing plastic toys have been around for decades.

The new coating, coincidentally called “StarPath,” is a water resistant, spray-on treatment that absorbs UV light during the day, and emits a blue glow during the night. This is possible thanks to the inclusion of a phosphorescent compound, but it’s apparently a bit more sophisticated than the stuff that’s used in toys.

Ustarpathnlike those glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs you had back in the day, this coating has the ability to react to varying levels of ambient light. On a bright moonlit night, for example, a pathway coated with StarPath would glow slightly dimmer than it would on a night that’s pitch black. This way, the coating is able to store energy and emit light when it’s most needed.

At this point, the company has only applied StarPath to about 1,600 square feet of walking paths around Cambridge, UK. Amazingly, the process only took about half an hour, and the paths were open for use just four hours later. It’s a small start, but Pro-Teq has big plans for the technology. In the future, the company hopes to use StarPath to illuminate roadways and provide cities with a low-cost alternative to streetlights.

It’s too early to call if the technology will actually gain widespread use, but we’re definitely keeping our fingers crossed for glow-in-the-dark highways in 2014. Find out more on Pro-Teq’s website

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Smart Home

Porch pirate problems? Keep them away with these tips and tricks

The holiday season is fast approaching and the packages are arriving on our doorsteps. Are you worried about porch pirates stealing your gifts this holiday season? Here are some tips to help protect your purchases.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?