Feeds

Coming soon: clothes that take photographs

MIT boffins stitch together photo fabric

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

One day your clothes could take photographs, according to MIT scientists who have made a fabric that can capture images of a smiley face.

A team at MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering has developed an optical-fibre mesh that can detect an image projected onto it.

“This is the first time that anyone has demonstrated that a single plane of fibres, or fabric, can collect images just like a camera but without a lens," said Yoel Fink, an associate professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led the research team.

Each fibre in the 100mm square fabric is less than 1mm in diameter and is formed from two concentric light-sensitive semiconductor cylinders separated and surrounded by insulating polymer layers. The semiconductors effectively measure the intensity of the light illuminating them and convert it to an electrical signal.

The signals from all the fibres are amplified and read by a computer. The fibres detect different wavelengths of light - colours, basically - and pass that information to the PC.

The MIT team placed the smiley face picture in front of the fabric and illuminated it with two wavelengths of light. Software on the PC read the signals from the fibres and used the information to reproduce on the screen what the fabric 'sees'.

What’s the future of this technology? Will we all be wearing 12Mp jackets able to snap pictures of people and places around us? Not quite, said Fink.

Such applications are still a long way from being realised he says. but his team’s work is a “significant” step in that direction. “The current version of these fabrics can only image nearby objects,” he said.

A major advantage of optical fibre webs lies in their distributed imaging capability, according to Fink. So if one area is damaged the other fibres can still function. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!
N1 mini-'slab to plop into crowded pond next year
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that
The format that wouldn’t die is officially in remission
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.