Color-Changing Thread Could One Day Turn Fabrics Into Screens

Anna Green

Researchers at UC Berkeley are developing a new kind of high-tech thread that can change color in response to electricity. Though their research is still in its early phases, the technology could one day allow people to turn their clothing into a fabric display screen.

Gizmodo explains that the technology, called Ebb, changes its hue when different voltages of electricity are applied. At the moment, that change occurs both subtly and gradually: Blues slowly morph into off-whites, pinks into deep reds. As it stands now, the Ebb-equipped thread could be used to create fun psychedelic fashions. Even better, if researchers find ways to speed up the color changing process, the thread could one day facilitate the creation of clothing with display screens or moving animations and images.

Already researchers have successfully used the Ebb threads to create a slow-moving numeric display, akin to the face of a digital clock. That feat, and more of their creative applications, can be seen in the short video above.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Banner Image Credit: Joanne Lo, YouTube