Is The Future of Clothing Digitally Customizable

Modern technologies have come a long way, but researchers and innovative entrepreneurs continue to come up with new ways to use them.

One new idea came from Stefanie Mueller, Assistant Professor at MIT EECS Department, who believes that new digital technology might have incredible applications in developing changeable colors.

What if You Could Change the Color of Your Clothing and Accessories at Will

According to Mueller, it is possible to create programmable paint — materials that, when applied, might be able to change colors at . Mueller already did this, presenting her findings to the community.

She insisted,

You can simply erase the texture, you apply it, and get a new one. Here you see a phone case, for instance… what if in the morning, you’re not only changing your outfit, but you can also reprogram the (accessories) that you use on a daily basis? Same for your shoes, right? What if you only have one pair of specific shoes, and then you just apply a new color texture, download it from an app, apply it, and you’re ready to go.

The idea of having the ability to turn any regular object, like a clothing item, into a chameleon item that changes color whenever you so choose was the front and center in Mueller’s recent talk.

She presented the idea of companies and innovators using digital transformations to enhance physical products, thus offering a method of forever changing the market from a traditional method of dynamic and transformable products.

Just like her example with clothing, the same method can be applied to other kinds of professional services.

She spoke about being able to change the color of walls and even entire rooms. One could reprogram the colors to fit specific events, turning each space into a multi-purpose location.

She noted that different absorption spectra and the same sort of model used for RGB LED lights could also be useful in this regard.

Consumers would be able to micromanage what their possessions would look like using the photochromatic dye.

A New Kind of Market

In her speech, Mueller presented a new kind of market, where companies could sell physical products for free and charge users for digital transformations.

Users could buy colors for their shirts, shoes, phone cases, and like. In a way, it wouldn’t be different from buying skins for different video games in order to customize one’s character.

The game is free to play, but in order to look a certain way, users have to pay for different skins with real money.

Mueller argues that part of future innovation lies in helping color changes happen quickly. Her current method is still somewhat slow, and the colors take about 20 minutes to change.

However, she spoke about doubling the amount of light, which would also double the transformation speed. With enough innovation, the changes would be as fast as a mouse click.

Concluding her presentation, she spoke about the goals involved with her color research, stating that the long-term vision is to give physical objects the same capabilities that can be found in digital.

She intends to secure a future where people can get free items and then pay for their customization through apps.

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