Inflatable wind turbines may not be an entirely new idea, but prolific inventor Dean Kamen has detailed one of a slightly different sort in a recently published patent application. In addition to generating energy for general use, the turbine would also be able to power a set of LEDs adorning the turbine itself, which could be used to display advertising or other information using a persistence of vision effect. The application even suggests that multiple turbines could be linked together and synchronized to form one large billboard. Of course, it is still just that, a patent application -- but it is assigned to Kamen's DEKA company, so it may not be quite as far off from reality as some other applications.

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Dean Kamen files patent application for an inflatable, illuminated wind turbine