Computer Screens from Smart Fabrics


screenshot-174Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

Scientists from UC Berkeley and Google have utilized fabrics made using color changing smart threads to develop computer screens. According to researchers from the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, fabric based computer display technology called Ebb was developed in partnership with researchers from Google. The project was termed Ebb because the color changes patterned the ebb and flow of tides.

Ebb technology consists of conductive yarns with thermochromics paint coating. With the passage of electricity, due to heat generated, threads change their color. The research team conducted focus sessions with a group of people that included fashion designers.  The feel of the fabric and not being plastic appealed to the group, who were involved in providing feedback about the smart fabric computer display screens.

The research team was led by graduate student Laura Devendorf and involved researchers from UC Berkeley’s School of Information and Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects’ (ATAP) Project Jacquard. Project Jacquard focuses on developing wearable textiles with sensors and LEDS and at the same time giving them the comfortable tactile feeling.

Although it may be while to see Ebb based clothes as display screens on computers in stores, the project has shown light on what consumers feel on soft fabric based computer displays.