Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Photonic Textiles by Karma Chameleon...

Color changing, light emitting textiles are captivating, they radiate sophistication and innovation. But to achieve a pleasant to look effect is very challenging form a technology point of view. A collaboration between Joanna Berzowska at XS Labs and Maksim Skorobogatiy at the Advanced Photonic Structures Group, both based in Canada, formed the ‘Karma Chameleon‘ to research and develop ‘interactive electronic garments constructed out of a new generation of composite fibers that are able to harness power directly from the human body, store that energy, and then use it to change their own visual properties‘. I love the subtile illumination effect fiber optics creates when woven into fabrics and integrated into clothing of wall decorations. The use of fiber optics, basically weaving thin strands of fiber optic, plastic like material together with conventional yarn is somewhat challenging. Illuminating fiber optic woven structures require to send through the different strands colored light from a light source such as LEDs. It’s a complex design which might never be suitable for volume production but for made-to-order designs something to consider. The photo shows an interactive garment with integrated silk and photonic band-gap fiber woven strips concealed within pleats, created by Joanna Berzowska, Maksim Skorobogatiy, Anne-Marie Laflamme, Marguerite Bromley and Marc Beaulieu. Be sure you check out the remarkable work of this innovative, collaboration. I can already now imagine all the interesting uses of such materials, not only for clothing but for wall decoration, furniture cover to create a sophisticated, illuminated atmosphere.

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