Karma Chameleon Electronic Fabric

Karma Chameleon Electronic Fabric

While our cell phones are getting more intelligent by the day, the battery life seems to be shrinking. Smart phones require so much energy for apps and internet, that some can only stay charged for less than a day.

Fortunately, as smart as our phones have become, other areas of technology and design are keeping up, including fashion design. Researchers from Concordia University in Canada may have come up with a stylish solution to the cell phone dilemma that could save us from searching for a power outlet while out at the bar.

The project, titled Karma Chameleon, is the invention of a unique new “smart” electronic fabric that is like an app for your clothing.

The textile is based in electronic technology, but uses energy drawn from the wearer’s body and motions. This energy can be stored in the garment, and has incredible potential. Up until this point, researches have experimented with using it to create color changing fabric, as well as for a portable energy source to charge cell phones and other electronics.

electronic fabric

The technology is seamlessly incorporated into the garment: yarns made up of a composite material of several polymer layers are woven right into the fabric rather than being externally attached.

This system has the potential for all sorts of functional clothing.

Several concepts are being considered. For instance, the yarn could be incorporated into military uniforms to lighten a load of equipment that includes batteries and wires. It could even be used to warm the wearer, or to change and control the physical shape of the garment.

While Karma Chameleon is still in development and many years away from being available to the public, the idea itself is an incredible leap in both fashion innovation, and technology as a whole.

Jessica Bucci

Jessica has been trained in a wide variety of textile and fiber processes, traditional as well as computer-aided, which she uses in both her design and sculptural work. Jessica has also served as a teaching assistant for beginning weavers and drawers.