philips light emitting textiles

Now this looks fun: Lumalive, light emitting textile technology by Philips Research:

http://www.research.philips.com/newscenter/archive/2006/060901-lumalive.html

They have had some interesting ambient media projects before, but this time this really looks like something that could transform the way urban nightlife and streets look like, if this tech gets a hold. Great!

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.

5 thoughts on “philips light emitting textiles”

  1. WOW!!! That is REALLY COOL!!! 😉

    Just wondering how does it works? do you turn it on when you desire? Can you program your light animation? Some practical details I am wondering.

    Lights are so magical, especially in big cities (small cities have another characteristics and charm). In big cities all those nice and ugly corners turn to be just potential dark spaces where you can decorate them with the light. Every single spot can be use to play with the illumination and the shadows. And everything turns to have another personality and impact. Old buildings can be more majestic, and the modern ones so futuristic. And the whole thing can create just an impact. One example can be in Mexico City, which unfortunately I do not have any picture of it at night (made by myself) but here:
    http://refractedmoments.com/index.php?showimage=24
    is one that I found, showing how the sum of the light bulbs, which do not have any specific artistic purpose, can make those unequal spots of concrete and pavement, which sometimes can be ugly, in an interesting place to be observed.

    On the video of Philips in youtube they only mention their potential for promotional aspects. Without knowing how exactly this new textile-LED material work, but I would attempt to say that several artists and textile designers could do a lot more than only promotional items. To do not go so far away, if in circus as
    Cirque du Soleil : http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/CirqueDuSoleil/en/default.htm
    Holiday on Ice: http://www.holidayonice.com/flashhome.htm
    you can see, sometimes in some shows, already heavy outfits with normal LED in their acts, what could not be done using this type of clothing. Amazing! It is just tons of new raw material for the creativity.

    And last but not least, I would like to share some links for those who are interesting in the topic of light and art:
    – Right now it is running an exposition of Architecture at night, at the Art Museum of Suttgart.
    http://www.kunstmuseum-stuttgart.de/de/index.php?site=1&page=2&actualSel=4
    – And in Eindhoven you can find the Kunstlicht in de Kunst.
    http://www.kunstlichtkunst.nl/main.php?cm_navpos=112,195&cm_t=1146398924

  2. Hi – thanks for comments, and for the links. There are clearly many interesting light spectacles worth studying further out there. (I think it is not an accident that one of George Lucas’s firms is named “Industrial Light and Magic”… 😉

    As to the actual technology behind Lumalight, I haven’t got time to look into it, but they say “Lumalive fabrics feature flexible arrays of colored light-emitting diodes (LEDs) fully integrated into the fabric – without compromising the softness or flexibility of the cloth”, and also mention that batteries etc. should be invisible. But there is no mention about durability of batteries, how you wash a material like this, etc. Thus, I tend to think about this still as prototype tech, suitable for some limited special uses, rather than something ready for the streets. But even then: Wow! as you say. 🙂

  3. “Industrial Light and Magic” I was no aware about that company name, but good title that is for sure!

    Yes, it will be interesting to know more about the Lumalight. On my side I am curious on how you can upload the light sequence, because they have some kind of design and patterns, synchronized with time. There should have some memory there I guess, and also they should be able to reset it, in order to coordinate all the T-shirts. But I am not sure, nevertheless interesting. And I agree with you it might be a prototype, let’s see how it develops 😉

    And have you seen this “e-tables” for games. It seems they showed them in the same “expo” or “show” as the video of the emitting textiles you had posted above. Put an eye on the following links:
    1.- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD9HXRWIHPw&mode=related&search=
    2.- http://www.research.philips.com/initiatives/entertaible/index.html

    It seems cool too, right? 😉 . I like the idea to combine, some of my “traditional” board games in the same device where I have some of my video games, and be able to play them in the way they are as board games.

    There is not doubt (at least for me), technology is AWSOME!!! and it is more enjoyable when you mix it with creativity 😉

    And these guys from Philips are doing cool things, as it seems.

  4. I think this stuff is still at prototype level and used only for demostration purposes — please point out if I am wrong here, though.

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