Philips Research is currently showing off a their new Photonic Textiles at the IFA Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin. The Photonic Fabric integrates flexible arrays of multicolored LEDs into the weave, allowing the fabric to give off light and display programmable patterns like text messages, without compromising the softness of the cloth. Philips’ Photonic Textile Prototypes include an “SMS pillow” and an “SMS Backpack” (send a text message to it and words scroll across it). Future applications for this type of LED-embedded fabric will be things like on-the-fly customizable clothing.
This is a clever innovation, but does anyone else think these photographs are somewhat disturbing? I mean what’s with the slightly violent imagery of a hand punching a pillow in one shot, and then a girl lovingly caressing her pillow in the other? And why pillows in the first place? If I were working on developing a high-tech fabric like this, I would have started with something for the kids ? maybe SMS T-shirts or something….