A team of MIT researchers has managed to develop a sort of ink that can emit different colors depending upon the light that is being shone on it. The ink comes from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in MIT and has been named PhotoChromeleon.
PhotoChromeleon can be utilized for clothing, decorative objects, and accessories. Instead of reacting to the mood, this reprogrammable ink known as PhotoChromeleon changes its color when it has been exposed to ultraviolet and visible light sources.
Different wavelengths of light give different colored from objects that have been dyed using this ink. PhotoChromeleon is made from a mix of photochromic dyes that can be painted or sprayed onto objects. This can be carried out a number of times. The ink can be used for outdoor shoes without breaking a sweat since it is wear-and-tear resistant.
In an MIT press release, CSAIL postdoc Yuhua Jin, the lead author on a new paper about the project, said, ‘This special type of dye could enable a whole myriad of customization options that could improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce overall waste. Users could personalize their belongings and appearance on a daily basis, without the need to buy the same object multiple times in different colors and styles.’
The team created the reprogrammable ink by making a mix of cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMY) photochromatic dyes. Each dies responds differently to different wavelengths. This knowledge led the team to control which color would appear by activating and deactivating the light sources that would trigger different colors. PhotoChromeleon could potentially encourage people into holding onto their possessions by enabling them to get a fresher look simply by spraying the ink onto an object.
MIT Professor Stefanie Mueller, said, ‘By giving users the autonomy to individualize their items, countless resources could be preserved, and the opportunities to creatively change your favorite possessions are boundless.’