By Evan Ackerman
Boy, it’s really humiliating to write about stuff like smart fabric. Pretty soon, our clothes are going to be smarter, stronger, and more flexible than we are. Here are two examples of how as a species, we are being out-evolved by our wearables.
Dow Corning’s Active Protection System is a smart fabric (specifically a multilayered textile with a special silicon coating) that can react to impacts by instantly becoming rigid when a force is applied. As soon as the force is removed, the fabric goes back to being flexible and snuggly soft. It’s intended to be used primarily in sports, as well as in military and defense applications (of course). And I have to say, the jacket doesn’t look half bad. It’s not yet commercially available, so if you’re desperate for some protection, have a look at this.
One more after the jump.
Philips has recently patented a fabric that incorporates muscle wires, which are thin strands of titanium shape-memory alloy that change their length when electricity is passed through them. The idea is that you put on a generic size of clothing, and then adjust the size and shape via the muscle wires until you get a perfectly snug and stylish fit. How about a bra that goes from sporty and supportive to cleavage central (and back, of course) with the push of a button? I think we’d all be in favor of that.
[Edit- Further polling on the bra idea reveals that actual boob owners think it would be "too weird" and "not even remotely appealing." Evidently, I have "no clue about how to make a bra fit to your boobs." Not having boobs myself, I am forced to reluctantly agree. Philips, take note.]