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Hong Kong AI Lab Aims to Reduce Clothing Waste with Colour-Changing Fabric

Updated: Jan 5

[Edited] In a groundbreaking development, a research team at the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab) in Hong Kong has created a fabric embedded with a tiny camera and powered by artificial intelligence that can change its colour with a simple gesture.

Hong Kong AI Lab Aims to Reduce Clothing Waste with Colour-Changing Fabric
Credit: REUTERS

This innovative technology has the potential to significantly reduce clothing waste by offering consumers a wider range of colour choices for their garments.


The fabric, knitted with polymeric optical fibres (POFs) and textile-based yarns, can be illuminated in various hues. By performing specific gestures in front of the fabric, such as a thumbs-up, heart sign, or 'OK' sign, the fabric can transform into deep blue, pink, or green, respectively.


What sets this fabric apart is its customizability. Users can also personalize the colours through a smartphone app, while AI algorithms enable the camera to recognize and respond to individual gestures.


Professor Jeanne Tan, from Polytechnic University's School of Fashion and Textiles, who leads the research team, highlights the recyclability of POFs, which are made from polymethyl methacrylate. The structure of the textile allows for easy separation of POFs from yarns, facilitating recycling efforts.


Despite its advanced technology, the fabric retains a soft and comfortable feel, comparable to ordinary knitted fabrics. Professor Tan assures that the hand-feel is not compromised in the pursuit of innovation.


AiDLab envisions commercializing this technology in the future. Currently, the fabric is being showcased in installations at shopping malls and other locations across Hong Kong, allowing the public to witness its transformative capabilities firsthand.

 
  • Hong Kong-based AiDLab has developed a fabric embedded with a camera and powered by AI that can change its colour with simple gestures.

  • The fabric is knitted with polymeric optical fibres (POFs) and textile-based yarns, allowing it to illuminate in various hues.

  • Users can customize the colours through a smartphone app, while AI algorithms enable the camera to recognize individual gestures.

Source: REUTERS


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