People lacking any sense of fashion no longer need worry about their scarf clashing with their clothes this winter — researchers have created one that automatically changes colour to suit an outfit.
The colour-shifting garment, dubbed a chameleon shawl, was developed by Akira Wakita and colleagues at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.
Interwoven into the scarf material are pixels containing red, blue and green light-emitting diodes (LEDs), so adjusting the brightness of each type of diode turns the scarf a different overall shade.
A small sensor embedded in the garment also enables it to identify the colour of the nearest item of clothing. A microcomputer then selects a suitable colour for the scarf itself to adopt.
In the default setting, the microcomputer in the shawl is programmed to change to the coordinative colour of the input data, Wakita told New Scientist.
This means that if its owner is wearing dark blue, for example, the scarf will instinctively turn a tasteful shade of light blue to match.
A kind of colour coordination will be established automatically, Wakita says.
If, however, the wearer fancies making a more daring fashion statement, the scarf’s computer can be configured to match more unusual colours together.
Theoretically, about 4000 colours can be generated, Wakita says.
However, the difference may not be perceivable for human eyes.
The scarf was demonstrated at the International Symposium on Wearable Computing (ISWC2005) in Osaka, Japan, in October 2005.
Chameleon scarf coordinates with your outfit — New Scientist (via Warren Ellis)