Cambridge, Massachusetts – Forgotten what someone told you? Your clothes could remind you.
Yoel Fink, a materials-science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has invented a fibre that can detect and produce sound which he says could open the way for shirts to be used as microphones or voice recorders.
The fibre contains a plastic commonly used in microphones. Each strand of fibre has fluorine atoms on one side and hydrogen atoms on the other. That asymmetry makes the plastic piezoelectric: it changes shape when it encounters an electric field, making it possible to record and make sound.
For more on MIT’s latest innovations, read our Seed about a pair of Lycra gloves that enable people to interact with a computer screen through hand gestures.