Posted by Robert Bradbury: Various sources are reporting that Motorola has developed a flat-screen prototype display which uses carbon nanotubes (presumably as electron emitters). The Slashdot discussion is here. Though the prototype is only 5″ currently they appear to be aiming for 40″ HDTV screens that will only cost $400.
If this type of commercial application allows mass production to bring down the costs of nanotubes then a space elevator might start to be something that should be taken seriously.
It is worth noting as discussed here and here that NASA apparently plans to funnel millions of dollars into research at Rice’s Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory to develop methods for the mass production of “armchair nanotubes”, so-called “quantum wires”, which conduct electricity much more efficiently than copper wires can.