This jacket by Oslo studio Drap og Design illuminates to imitate the colours of whatever the wearer is touching (+ movie).
The Interacket was created to mimic a chameleon’s colour-changing ability by four Norwegian designers who set up their studio Drap og Design after graduating from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
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LEDs embedded into the jacket light up when the wearer places their hand on an object and display a similar colour to that of the object or surface being touched.
“Interacket started off as an exploration in how a range of animals interact with their surroundings, as well as how they are seen by it,” said Drap og Design co-founder Jan Anders Ekroll. “In the beginning we looked at animals as different as bats, squid and platypus, and researched how to mimic their unique qualities using electronics and wearables.”
Finally settling on the chameleon, the studio designed the garment to replicate its surroundings in a similar way to the colour-changing reptile.
“We studied the patterns of change as well as natural movement in order to find the right speed and direction of the colour adaptation,” said Ekroll. “With this in place we began working with the layers of material we needed to achieve the diffuse appearance needed in order to make the LED strips work.”
The lights are embedded between a bottom layer of reflective heat foil, commonly used for emergency blankets, and a translucent protective painter’s overall on top.
Colour sensors held in each hand are wired to Arduinos – computer microcontrollers that can be programmed to perform specific functions – which control the colours of the LED strips using open-source code available from digital library Adafruit.
“Since we are designers rather than coders, we rely on the open-source community to get started in the direction we want to,” Ekroll said.
Two Arduinos were used because the designers “simply couldn’t figure out how to make do with one in the time-frame”, and together they allow the opposite sides of the jacket to show different colours at the same time.
Drap og Design has made the designs for the garment available online, so anyone can build their own.