Experimental Color-Changing Fabric Could Turn You Into a Chameleon

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Animals do it, so why shouldn't we? This experimental textile project by Judit Eszter Karpati allows a fabric to change its color in a snap, based on its surroundings, thanks to some Arduino brains.

Her Chromosonic research project is a programmable, electronic, colour-changing textile interface, that could have all kinds of applications. She explains the technicalities:

The installation consists of an arduino with 12V power supply and 20 custom PCBs driving and controlling 4 industrial 24V DC power supplies, that heat two handmade textile woven with nichrome wires and screenprinted with thermochromatic dying, revealing the preprogrammed patterns.


And she also explains how it works:

I intended to to find out how I could incorporate the world of digital media into textile art. The two slow moving textile displays present ambient content. They react to environmental impulses responding with an animated change in pattern.The virtual world alters genres, steps out to reality.The flatness of the screen, the glitch patterns appear on woven, flexible textile, integrated electronic devices. The patterns are generated from sound files. The heat sensitive static patterns create dynamically changing patterns. The spectators also can leave traces on the surface through the sense of touch.

It's pretty neat how the fabrics respond to their environment: a kind of all-permeating sensory camouflage. Imagine if the clothes we wore somehow responded to all our the sensory stimuli around us; we could become truly stealth-like, not just visually, but audibly, and perhaps even aromatically, too. This project feels like an amazing step in that direction. [Chromosonic]