Inspiration can wait in the most unexpected places, and sometimes the technology used in space ships or warplanes ends up being adapted to an everyday use and that ends up benefiting millions of people. It’s what we could see not too long from now as a recent investigations by the car company McLaren who is trying to adapt the technology used in fighter aircraft to replace the current wipers of our cars.
No longer would we need a mechanical arm swinging across our windshield surface to remove the visual obstacle of rainwater ( or other substances). It would repel any material deposited on the windshield using a force field created by sound waves of ultra-high frequencies. It may sound like science fiction but it is already used for years in warplanes.
By an ultrasonic transducer that is sent by the windshield surface via sound waves at 30 kHz with its vibration would divest any material surface, including dust and insects. The undoubted advantage to this would improve the visibility as it would be just one of the features that make it interesting, but the fact remains the ease with which vehicle owners in areas with very cold weather could dislodge ice by the mere touch of a button.
We do not know yet its arrival date on which this system could be adapted for use in cars and thus retire our very tired mechanical wiper system, built in 1903 without much basic design that has changed little since then.