Saturday, August 02, 2008


Just found out about a really cool new technology from Philips called Lumalive. Lumalive combines multicolor LEDs (light-emitting diodes) into textile fabrics. It allows you to create dynamic images on articles of clothing, furniture, and anything else covered in fabric.

Some obvious applications are advertising and art. But I haven't seen much else discussed about how to use this technology to solve important problems yet. I wonder if it could be used as a dynamic camouflage? As you walk past walls of different colors, could it detect the color changes and respond to them like a chamelion? Could it pass through enough detail to make you look invisible?

Another interesting application would be a mood shirt. Like a mood ring, it would change colors depending on your mood. To detect mood, the shirt could be combined with various biometric sensors such as galvanic skin response. Most people wouldn't want to wear such a shirt, but it could be really fun for people at a party who want to try something kind of edgy.

What else could the colors and images on these shirts be tied to in your environment?

I remember talking to people at nTag a few years ago. They had interesting social technology that would tell two people meeting at a conference what two or three things they had in common based on their profiles. They displayed this information on name tags. Maybe it would be more interesting to show it on these shirts?

Or what if at a speed-dating event, various algorithms for matching peole who would be interested in each other could make it so participants milling about a party would suddenly have their shirts turn the same color if they were identified as matches whenever they were less than 5 feet from each other?

What other problems are there with shirts and other apparrel that could be solved with Lumalive? What a fun technology. Thank you Philips!


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