Does anyone know whether this is real and, if so, has anyone heard of any watch manufacturers using a similar technology yet? This sounds like a huge step forward for lume.
This company has apparently found a way to make teeny tiny tritium vials, like sand-grain-sized, which they will incorporate into paint. It will have a half-life of 12.5 years just like the vials we're used to but it will be paint. They claim the glass "microspheres" will prevent any radiation from escaping at all. Here's the patent language and URL:
"This invention relates to a means for more efficiently and more safely providing self-luminous lighting devices for use in signs, markers, indicators and the like. The present invention provides self luminosity by means of a plurality of glass or polymer microspheres containing both a light-emitting phosphor and a radioactive gas. The “soft” emission of electrons from the beta emitting gas cannot penetrate the glass or polymer wall of the microspheres, thereby constituting no radiation hazard. A further advantage of the present invention is that the plurality of individual containment microspheres minimizes the escape of radioactive gas in the event of any physical damage to an assembly of such microspheres. A still further advantage of the invention is that the radioactive gas completely surrounds the phosphor particles, thus causing light emission from one hundred percent of the surface of the particles." http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2007/0200074.html
Here's another website where the company's owner pitches the product:
And here's the company's own website with their other glowing products (non tritium based, though):