Print 33 comment(s) - last by JeffDM.. on Jan 23 at 6:53 PM

T-shirts that glow in the dark

T-shirts that also glow in the light

The Lumalive couch and clock combo

A sample of the fabric attached to the control unit

Windows-based software to upload new patterns
Philips shows off clothing that will literally make you glow

At CES 2007 Philips discreetly demonstrated its light-emitting fabrics, called Lumalive, that allow everyday garments or soft furnishings to light up with colorful patterns or animated displays.

Lumalive fabrics incorporate arrays of LED pixels mounted on a flexible lightweight substrate, with each pixel containing closely spaced red, green and blue LEDs. Electric conducting tracks on the plastic substrate connect these pixels into a matrix display configuration, allowing each pixel to be individually addressed and the light intensity of its three LEDs varied in order to produce any desired color. Standard Lumalive panels measure 20 cm square and contain an array of 14 x 14 pixels, spaced a little over one centimeter apart. The panels can be interlinked or scaled up to cover large areas.

Layers of translucent material covering the LEDs diffuse the light such that adjacent pixels merge into one another, allowing the display of daylight-visible colored patterns, dynamic images, short text messages or even full color animations. Cover materials with different light dispersion/diffusion characteristics can be used to create different lighting effects. In the Lumalive couch (pictured at right), for example, the cover materials have been combined with white canvas to create a textured luminance. When the LEDs are turned off, Lumalive fabrics are indistinguishable from normal fabric.

The flexibility of the substrate material in which the LEDs are embedded and the softness of the covering layers make Lumalive fabrics pliable, while the low weight of the panels (typically around 100 grams) means they add very little to the total weight of garments. As a result, clothing made of Lumalive fabrics should remain comfortable to wear.

Electrical connection to the panels is made via a waterproof connector leading to a compact control unit, measuring around 11.5 x 6.5 x 2 cm and weighing approximately 150 grams, that contains the control electronics and battery pack. Additional display driver/multiplexing circuitry built into the panel itself reduces the number of connections between the control unit and the panel to just five conductors, greatly simplifying the size and weight of the wiring harness. Based around an ARM microprocessor and 256 MB of flash memory for content storage, the control unit allows the display of animated graphics sequences of up to ten minutes duration.

Lumalive fabric solutions are supplied with Windows-based PC software that interfaces with the USB connector on the control unit, allowing for animated graphics, scrolling text messages or moving images to be uploaded. Alternatively, the unit can be connected to a GSM module, allowing pre-loaded content to be triggered via SMS messages or SMS messages to be transferred directly to the Lumalive panels.

The Li-ion battery in the control unit typically powers a single 20 cm square 14 x 14-pixel Lumalive panel for three to four hours, depending on the type of visuals displayed. In furniture, the control unit can be powered from a standard AC plug adapter and up to ten panels inter-linked to cover larger areas without the need for additional control electronics. The high-efficiency LEDs used in the entire Lumalive couch consumes the same amount of electricity as a 20W light bulb.

Lumalive panels are encased in a translucent pocket of water-resistant material, allowing them to be used in applications where the material may be subjected to rain, snow or liquid spills. For hand, machine or dry-cleaning of the fabrics, the panels and their drive electronics/batteries can be removed from garments or furniture before starting the cleaning process and straightforwardly replaced afterwards.

Philips has yet to announce pricing or retail partners for its Lumalive fabric technology.

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By Hare on 1/21/2007 8:19:19 AM , Rating: 5
The high-efficiency LEDs used in the entire Lumalive couch consumes the same amount of electricity as a 20W light bulb.

That would be 20W, right :D

"The writer of this message can run at the speed of a car going 20mph"

RE: 20W
By Spivonious on 1/21/2007 5:01:24 PM , Rating: 3
I can jump as high as a 3 foot piece of string.

RE: 20W
By akugami on 1/21/2007 9:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
Weak, even my cousin's 5 year old can jump higher than a 3 foot piece of string. ^_^

RE: 20W
By Visual on 1/22/2007 6:25:33 AM , Rating: 5
was it white string?
white string can't jump.

By daftrok on 1/20/2007 12:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
This looks awesome. Now just waiting on pricing and availability...

RE: Nice
By MrDiSante on 1/20/2007 12:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take one!

RE: Nice
By Aquila76 on 1/20/2007 2:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Me too! I was waiting to see the washing instructions for this, and am amazed it's a standard garment, basically:
Lumalive panels are encased in a translucent pocket of water-resistant material, allowing them to be used in applications where the material may be subjected to rain, snow or liquid spills. For hand, machine or dry-cleaning of the fabrics, the panels and their drive electronics/batteries can be removed from garments or furniture before starting the cleaning process and straightforwardly replaced afterwards.
As a side note, it looks like EVERYTHING is available in a USB version nowadays. I need more ports!

RE: Nice
By on 1/22/2007 3:34:01 PM , Rating: 2
"Amazing" might not be the correct term here.

It appears the actual news here is a low-res LED display on a flexible surface (substrate as the article calls it). Then the marketing twinks velcro'ed it inside a few shirts and went with this dog and pony show.

The clothing is still simply clothing, and these panels are still seperate panels. The novelty is in how flexible they've managed to make the panels.

RE: Nice
By S3anister on 1/20/2007 8:22:14 PM , Rating: 3
I'll take one, then make it scroll "G-Unit" lmao.

haha. and who cares about price, if you have to think about how much it's gonna cost than maybe you shouldn't be thinking about it lol :D

RE: Nice
By BladeVenom on 1/21/2007 9:17:17 AM , Rating: 2
No one wanted to wear fiber optic clothing, so why would anyone want to wear LED clothing.

Um... Where do they put the battery?
By mkruer on 1/22/2007 12:49:10 AM , Rating: 1

RE: Um... Where do they put the battery?
By archange75 on 1/22/2007 3:14:47 AM , Rating: 3
Anyone see the possible military applications? Active camouflage, anyone? This is wind in the sails of Conspiracy theorists :P

By JeffDM on 1/23/2007 6:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose it would take a conspiracy theorist to believe that a shirt that gives off light would work as camoflage. That would be a good way to give away your position, but they are pretty good at ignoring simple holes in their theories.

Various uses
By Micronite on 1/20/2007 3:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to be able to go to a football game and change my affiliation depending on who is doing better.
I can just see it now... "Hey! didn't that just say 'Go Cowboys?'"

RE: Various uses
By robharvil on 1/20/2007 5:03:28 PM , Rating: 1
While I can see the appeal of quick changes, if you did that sort of thing at a sporting event, you would likely get your butt kicked; and deservedly so. Go Chiefs!!!!

RE: Various uses
By jmunjr on 1/21/2007 10:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
How about just a reversible shirt? Heck just bring two shirts. Or, just go to a game featuring teams having the same colors.

Great news for purtians
By borowki on 1/20/07, Rating: 0
RE: Great news for purtians
By ADDAvenger on 1/20/2007 6:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
That was pretty random...

RE: Great news for purtians
By borowki on 1/20/2007 9:31:34 PM , Rating: 1
Going from a cyan P to a scarlet A doesn't take that much of a mental jump.

By KristopherKubicki on 1/20/2007 10:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
Someone has read the Scarlet Letter recently! lol

By Lazarus Dark on 1/20/2007 11:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
The ravers are gunna love this! They'll sell millions! Time to invest in some philips stock.


By Spivonious on 1/21/2007 5:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
I know you were joking...but if Philips chooses to go this route, it would be wildly popular. At least among teenage idiots.

By FITCamaro on 1/22/07, Rating: 0
burn in
By xstangx on 1/20/07, Rating: 0
RE: burn in
By bigboxes on 1/21/2007 2:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
Since plasma no longer suffers from "burn-in" you are just perpetuating a myth.

RE: burn in
By JeffDM on 1/23/2007 6:53:42 PM , Rating: 2
Plasmas can and do still "burn", it's just a lot harder to do it now. Now, it's more like a direct-view CRT. Unless they completely move away from phosphors, it's physically impossible to not have at least a small risk of burn-in. A fixed image on any kind of phosphor display is eventually going to burn, it's just a question of how bright it is set and whether takes hours, days, weeks or years.

By Oxygenthief on 1/22/2007 4:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
How cool would it be if everyone could have the ability to send a message to the person behind them while driving? If they can put messages on t-shirts and project HUD displays in jet cocpits they could do this right?

Like "Get off my ass I am about to slam on my brakes!" or "Screw you for cutting me off" or "I'm going to follow you home and kill your dog for flipping me off", or a simple "PWND" when you beat someone in a friendly drag race?

Combine that with a custom horn that says "here's your sign bitch!"

I think road rage incidents would go down some. :) Plus it would be a no brainer for marketing. All it would take is one person with the product to piss off everyone on the road so that those he pissed off would feel compelled to get the product themselves and return the favor.

Ah, who am I kidding, its probably already done or outlawed in 49 states or some crap...

By MadAd on 1/22/2007 5:32:54 AM , Rating: 2
why dont you just get one of those moving dot matrix displays for your rear window? Theve been about for years and would likely be clearer to see.

By vdig on 1/22/2007 1:56:26 PM , Rating: 3
I found myself wondering if this sort of technology could be used in the future for sports purposes. For instance, parents bring their kids to some sports programs, only having to buy uniforms or whatnot. While this may be inevitable, I think if this was durable, it might be able to eliminate the need for another uniform if a player switches teams. Just load the new team logo into the shirt, and away you go.

In a future press conference, you could see one of the best soccer players in the world hold a press conference, wherein he announces that he has been traded. Immediately, his team jersey changes to the new team's logo and everything. That would be quite the jarring visual, huh?

Even if the material will not go that far, it could have other sports uses. If a ref makes a call, instead of just announcing it, each call is now color/pattern coded. His jersey will change from his default look to the color of the offense being announced. Might be a bit awkward to look like a neon light for a moment, though.

Non sport uses could include uniforms for "out of uniform" officers, where, upon needing to exert authority, will allow the police logo to appear on his person. Heck, in addition, if there is a foot chase, his shirt could flash blue and red. Now all the officer needs is a siren. ;)

Sure It may be expencive
By Cogman on 1/20/2007 3:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
They may cost around $100 for just one tee-shirt, but think of it, you would never have to change that shirt again, just the pattern. Then you just tell all your friends "Yeah, I have tons of these things."

You know what this means...
By zsdersw on 1/21/2007 2:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
Another opportunity for advertising! If they can (and do) put advertisements in the holes of golf courses, you can bet your bottom dollar they'll use this for advertising too.

It also won't be limited to commercial advertising. People will be advertising nearly anything and everything about them with this (as they do now with MySpace and the like).

By encryptkeeper on 1/22/2007 3:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
Phillips is apparently testing just how much absolutely useless technology the public will buy. This sounds like the stupid sneakers with the lights in them.

By AnnihilatorX on 1/23/2007 7:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
Why is that the first thing I think of from this is teletubbies?

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