Over the years we've all come across color changing products that may have been amazing or disappointing - especially disappointing if you tried to wash you hypercolor t-shirt using hot water only to find out that you have now permanently changed it to the lighter color, but since those trying days of the 80's and 90's, color changing products have continued to develop.
Now, many researchers have applied some of the science behind color changing for applications in public safety, like when water is hot, or streets are cold and covered in ice, and they have also developed some technologies that would allow us to change the color of our cars and clothing with the push of a button. Here is a look at some of the color changing products currently available or in development.
Photo from gizmodo
With a switch of a button your car could change color. Scientist have developed a material that uses an electrical charge to create different colors. The Coating has the ability to reproduce the full spectrum of colors, and it only takes about a second to change from one color to another.
The process starts out with a standard galvanized piece of automotive sheet metal steel. A special polymer is applied to the steel with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles embedded within it. The nanoscale crystalline particles of magnetite (iron oxide) are controlled using a low grade magnetic field which is used to effect the spacing of the colloidal crystals and thereby controlling their ability to reflect light and change color.
A number of faucets have been designed to change from blue to red as the temperature of the water increases. They simply use some sort of temperature sensor and a LED light, but can be very helpful in warning of a potential burn situation.
Eclipse wall paint from Alsacorp will get lighter when heat of some kind is applied. It is also available with extra effects called CrystalFX, SpectraFX or Funky Munkey.
At frst these candles seemed like they had been touched with 'the magic' until I read a little more and discovered that there is a LED light in the bottom, but the fact that it turns on when you light the wick, using an optical sensor, is impressive enough to include in the lineup.
The Smart lid changes from a calm coffee bean to a panicked red when the liquid inside is hot.
Photo from coolhunting
Eurovia has created a heat sensitive road varnish that can alert motorist and pedestrians to whether or not the road is icy by changing colors when the temperature drops below zero.
While we have discussed changing your eye color using colored contacts here before, I don't think we knew about New Color Iris's more permanent solution. For anyone who "wishes to change the color of their eyes (permanently) with a natural appearance and without the limitations, risks and annoyances of contact lenses," this intraocular implant is your answer.
"Inspired by the stunning Northern Lights of Alaska, this line features 4 x 4 glass tiles that appear black at room temperature and move through the color spectrum when temperature (warm water, radiant heat, etc) is applied. The moving color is dynamic to the temperature of the heating agent."
Do you remember hypercolor clothing? I do, and it is sweet. Hypercolor changed color using a temperature sensitive pigment. It was able to change between two colors, one dark color when it was cold and one lighter color when it was hot.
Far cooler than hypercolor, if that is even possible, researchers are developing a color changing thread that works similarly to that of the car paint, using a small voltage to excite electrons which will then absorb different frequencies of light.
The threads work because the polymer absorbs light across a range of visible wavelengths. When voltage is applied, the polymer's electrons are raised to a higher energy level. In this state the fibers absorb light of different wavelengths, and the color changes.
"You can tune color by tuning the chemistry," Sotzing said.
to date, Sotzing and his colleagues have developed fibers that can go from orange to blue and from red to blue. Eventually Sotzing aims to conquer the entire spectrum of visible color.
In theory these fibers and a small number of thin metal wires could be woven together in a crisscross pattern that resembles pixels.
A small battery and controller attached to the wires could then change the electric field around each pixel of fiber, changing the colors to create a pattern that matches the wearer's environment.