It might not look like the traditional quilt your grandmother made for you, but that's because the IM Blanky is embroidered with sensors, resistors, and conductive fabrics making it self-aware. So it knows exactly how it's been folded, crumpled, or arranged.

Created by the University of Toronto's Responsive Architecture at Daniels school, the blanket incorporates 104 fabric tilt sensors designed to look like flowers with the petals made of a conductive material. These are then connected to a larger network using conductive thread forming a large grid of hexagons covering the entire blanket. Which results in a unique pattern that's as functional as it is stylish.

The individual tilt sensors relay their orientation to a central Arduino-powered computer which is then able to calculate the slopes between the various flowers and pedals on the blanket. Resulting in a 3D representation of its shape no matter how its laid out. So in theory, once the e-blanket's technology is refined to the point where the sensors cover every last square inch, turning a physical model into a 3D representation could be as easy as just wrapping it in fabric. Or, monitoring a patient's breathing rate could be done by just tossing a blanket over them.


[University of Toronto - RAD via Domus]