A Consumer Product Inventory has been spear-headed by the Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Over 1,600 items are currently listed. Below are some highlights in how nanotechnology separates itself from traditional product designs and functions.
Of the recent advances in nanotech, this section will describe already commercialized products. Toshiba has recently revealed its 19nm second generation NAND flash memory chips. The drives can accommodate storage from 4 to 128 GB (128Kbps transfer rate) in the conventionally small USB pocket flash-type size. Furthermore, IBM researchers announced in May 2014 that they have demonstrated a new record of 85.9 billion bits of data per square inch in areal data density on $0.02/GB linear magnetic particulate tape using barium ferrite (BaFe) particles.
Applying to cars, super hydrophobic coatings can reduce or eliminate the need to clean surfaces. Same could be done for fabrics, windows, wood, plastics, etc.
Nanoparticles are smaller than the wavelength of light. This feature alone provides the possibility of special photonic phenomenon to occur. The result is controllable variation and longevity of color. Nano TiO2 is already widely used in paints for its whitish look.
Sunscreen is a prime example of nanotech-enabled consumer products. Tonnes of TiO2 are being produced to add into the sun block formula. TiO2 in general is an opaque to UV rays. It is also a white pigment, but used in small quantities such as nanoparticles will still leave the skin with no white marks.
Offering a material improvement in terms of strength and weight, some nanostructures have found their way into fishing rods.