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Perfumed, Glowing Cloth 139

namtap writes "A story on NPR's All Things Considered discusses a light emitting fabric: The costumes onstage in Washington, D.C., might look a little brighter this opera season -- or at least, much more colorful. All Things Considered senior host Robert Siegel talks with Alberto Spiazzi, costume designer for Washington Opera's production of Aida, about luminex, a self-illuminating fabric." Makarand writes "A new technology will soon enable scents to be woven into fabrics. The technology, called Sensory Perception Technologies (SPT), will allow particles of moisturisers, deodorants and fragrances to be woven directly into fabrics. Scented tiny droplets contained inside miniature waterproof particles are woven into fabrics to be released upon activation by movement or touch. The fabrics are dry cleanable and machine washable."
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Perfumed, Glowing Cloth

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  • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:12AM (#5384865)
    A true must-have for geeks everywhere...
  • ...but does it have Digital 4 Track Recorders?
  • Heat Change Clothes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cuprous (74856) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:13AM (#5384872)
    Anyone remember the shirts that would change color with heat? I loved how the armpits would always be one color and the rest of the shirt would be the other.
  • Scents ... (Score:2, Funny)

    by webdevcoder (626832)
    Gee ... the scents must be there to mask the manufacturing smell of their clothing ...
  • by Cynikal (513328) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:15AM (#5384882) Homepage
    .. until they can weave febreeze into fabric?
    • Hopefully never. They spray that crap all over the office at work. Not only does it smell horrible, but all it does is mingle with the other scents in the office. Instant headache when that crap is sprayed.
    • Hey, that'd save a lot of effort with washing... But the springtime freshness would really begin to piss people off around you.

      Is this the first NPR article on /.? If so, yay!

  • by Max Romantschuk (132276) <> on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:15AM (#5384883) Homepage
    This could be great for children, road workers or other similar people who have a tendency to get too close to cars in the dark or need to be seen for other reasons.
    • Moving Targets!
    • As someone who bicyles long distances at all hours, sometimes around the clock, something like this could be a literal lifesaver.

      And if it smells minty fresh when I'm done I suppose it could save the lives of others as well. :)

      • Try elwire (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @05:40AM (#5385481)
        Why not try electroluminscent wire? [] I bought a bunch a couple years ago for a quick and dirty Tron halloween outfit. Not only was it a smashing sucess which got me more free drinks than I could handle thus creating a drunken smashed Tron, but I'm sure my night visibility was amazing. I didn't get run over once!

        Even the cheapest elwire can be bought with an sequencer so you could build a simple circuit and make your clothes tell drivers if you intend to turn right or left, like giant body sized blinkers.
  • funderwear (Score:4, Funny)

    by soundofthemoon (623369) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:16AM (#5384887)
    So now I won't have to worry about losing my underwear in the dark, and it will always smell like flowers?
  • An excuse for geeks all round not to shower. Ew.
  • I don't know how good an idea this might be.

    As it currently stands, I try to be awake for as little daylight as I can, and brightly lit t-shirts would kinda defeat the purpose.
  • I wonder if Elton John's made any pre-orders yet...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:17AM (#5384893)
    I don't see how this can compete with having magnesium woven directly into the fabric, plus a box of matches.
  • by msaulters (130992) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:17AM (#5384895) Homepage 9/1627251&mode=thread []

    At least this one has some new information. Maybe we're seeing some progress.
    • Scintillating plastics have been around for quite a while...I'm wondering why only now someone has developed this...maybe an issue of cost or maybe some strength problems?
  • by StormyWeather (543593) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:17AM (#5384896) Homepage
    Mmm scratch and sniff girls.

    Oh wait, I think my uncle Tom has been scratch and sniff for like 15 years... Not that you would want to.
  • 'bout time (Score:3, Funny)

    by El_Smack (267329) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:19AM (#5384903)
    Forget modding your Xbox. Deodorant and a nice fresh scent imbedded in clothes is information _desperately_ needed by this audience. :-)
    (C'mon, I'm a member of that group too.)
  • by katalyst (618126) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:20AM (#5384914) Homepage
    result in intelligent clothing. It would be irritating to have your clothes emit a constant smell. Why not have sensors on the clothes to detect sweat, and only THEN activate the er.. fumigators or scent generators.. Using this technology, clothes may be able to change color with emotions.... that should be intersting.
    • Why not have sensors on the clothes to detect sweat, and only THEN activate the er.. fumigators or scent generators

      Now, if they could make underwear responsive to intestinal gas. Old men all over the world need this.

    • Just what we need... Mood scenting!

      I wonder how it would smell when you get really constipated?
  • I always wanted to look like those people in Tron.

    You know, not really. I like my clothes just the way they are.
  • So this light fabric will help the malnourished children and other slave labourers see what they're making? I'd guess it wouldn't improve the smell, they wouldn't want to waste anything on their unwashed bondsmen. Soon we'll need glowing rubber to ensure parity in the working conditions for the nike 'cobblers'. Maybe they could irradiate some mad cows, it's not like anyone is going to eat them anyway.
  • Luminex (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LMariachi (86077) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:22AM (#5384920) Journal
    $280/yd (and a 50 yard minimum order) seems a little steep for fabric with strands of optical fiber woven in -- you still have to hook up the light sources yourself, probably after you've cut your pattern. Seems most people capable of making anything more complicated than a tablecloth out of this stuff could probably weave their own.
  • by theperplepigg (599224) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:28AM (#5384944)
    For some reason, the first thing that comes to mind is getting someone a shirt fused with cat pheremones (or dog, deer, frat boys, etc). Would be interesting to watch, if only for the laughs.


  • will allow particles of moisturisers, deodorants and fragrances to be woven directly into fabrics

    I never have to do laundry again! Now I can drag the 3-day wear into infinity ...

  • Buy a bottle of your favorite upscale whisky, and hit off of it frequently before the opera starts. I promise everything on stage will glow and appear more colorful. Heck even the sound will'll glow!

    'Color by J. Daniels, of Tennessee'.

    It's up to your partner to supply an upgraded scent, however. No platform-pizza jokes, please.
    • A good bottle of Tequila and you'll see way more colors than JD(Upscale?).

      And their both way down on the list of things that will make you see more colors.

      • Of course :)

        This is the Opera, after all, so you would do wise to co-ordinate your alcohol with the performance, eh? Jack for 'The Turn of the Screw' and Tequila for 'La Bohème', perhaps. Only a suggestion to get you started. Feel free to ask your local liquor store owner for his/her advice...stop off on the way to the Met, I'm sure they will have just the brand to suit the event.
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by moronga (323123) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @01:37AM (#5384969)
    You linked to NPR. Did you get permission? []
  • for those ladies that don't douche!
  • Disco Stu (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Capt'n Hector (650760)
    if only this had come in the age of the disco... endless possibilities! Now, I can't help but think this will go the way of the segway.
  • before interwoven patents this fabric.
  • by adzoox (615327) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @02:12AM (#5385069) Journal
    In the mid 80's I had two TShirts and a Golf Shirt that turned a different color when you got wet or warm. The only problem with the golf shirt was that the whole thing was HyperColor material, so, people saw if you were nervous. I remember finding out that it was the wrong 8th grade date shirt.

    What I thought was even more interesting is that at first the company who made it, Generra, was a prime brand, it ended up a few years later in the forgotten trends market at Montgomery Ward.

    It's going to be interesting. It's looking like one day we will have clothes that change color, glow, smell and have RFID tags. Maybe Gap will just make any stolen T Shirt Stink and glow with the words, "I stole this" or "I don't fold things back neatly at the Gap"

  • Maybe they should try costumes painted with superblack paint?
  • by kfg (145172) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @02:18AM (#5385084)

    Coming soon to a city near you.

  • I sure hope the guys at pick up on this.
    There are plenty of guys in the Math and CS depts around here who could use some 'decent' smelling clothes :|
    Perhaps it could be mandatory?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @02:25AM (#5385100)
    I emailed them about it. Here is the reply.

    Thank you for your interest in Luminex.

    We are Zuzka, the exclusive Distribution & Product Development team for Luminex in the US & Canada.

    Yes, the optical fiber fabric is available for purchase!

    The minimum is 50 yards per fabric type.

    The fabric is woven with optical fiber (and is illuminated by LED's) into the following fabrics:

    - Double sided LED polyester (sheer quality/ 7 colors) 58 "w $280/yd
    - Lycra 58 "w $280/yd
    - Super Velo (extra densely woven optical fibers) TK

    LED colors available: white, blue, red, green, &yellow

    Standard fabrics allow the LED color to be different every 18"

    Double sided fabrics are capable of having two different colored LED's merging into the same fibers to create additional colors

    Orders for quantity and for custom made sample products (i.e: pillows, jackets, etc.) can processed by phone and finished to your specs.

    Yardage Prices do not include rechargeable 3.6v battery and recharging kit.

    all SAMPLES must be purchased: $234-364/yd
    battery: $24 per battery
    recharger kit: $26 per recharger.

    weaves available include 7 kinds of poly's: white, blue, silver, gold, red, green, cream & black

    Delivery is currently 4-8 weeks

    please do not hesitate to contact me for more info:

    Christopher Berger
    Zuzka for Fabricology Inc.
    37 East 18th Street, Suite 10
    New York, NY 10003

    T 212. 260.1876
    F 212. 260.7963
  • by pc-0x90 (547757) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @02:29AM (#5385113)
    if people are going to start pushing for this with built in deodorants and perfumes to hide the fact that it will be worn over and over by people with poor hygiene, why would we care that it is [a] dry-cleanable or [b] machine washable? C'mon, think of the target audience in the writeup!
  • by ptaff (165113) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @02:46AM (#5385145) Homepage
    Let's play the scent game. Next on slashdot:
    • Beer-smelling refrigerators;
    • Girl-scented hacker keyboards;
    • Apple fragrance for computers;
    • Jazz CD's with a swing aroma;
    • Envelopes stamped with pine's odour;
    • Phones that smell like pizza;
    ... overreached myself ...
  • What's next? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How about glowing bed sheets and blankets? That would make for some really amazing sex.
  • ... is super-dreamy. I wonder if I can get a Siegel-scented tie?
  • What will all the geeks that don't use deodorant wear now, huh?
  • I think it stinks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by demo9orgon (156675) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @03:25AM (#5385211) Homepage
    I'm not alone when I say that artificial smells and designer perfumes in fabrics is a terrible idea. There are many people who get migraine-level headaches when Ms. Thang and whatever she's doused herself with come wafting through the office. If I thought (vomiting,trepanation,pre-frontal lobotomy,ECT) would help get rid of the headache and nausea, I'd do it. If they think they smell that bad, why don't they stay home. I read somwhere that this is one of the major complaints people have against their fellow employees...and we're not talking bad body odor. Some perfumes can make you violently ill.

    Hopefully this crap will never see mass-market.

    • Re:I think it stinks (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      My wife is allergic to almost any smell. If we go somewhere nice (a play, a church, a restaurant) and we're too close to a woman wearing perfume, she starts sneezing and getting headaches. What's more, there are times she'll get headaches from perfumes that I can't even smell and I'm right next to her. Scented clothing would drive her up the wall. There could be whole departments of stores that she couldn't go into.

      I don't have a problem with various smells, but judging by her reaction, I'd sooner see the removal of scents rather than its increase.
    • playing over and over. Even if a person's perfume had no allergens, sending out one scent constantly is boring / rude. The perfume industry markets the idea of a 'signature scent' people can wear to announce or associate with their presence. To me that is like a 'signature sound' that people could play to announce their presence-- a quiet ringtone that never stops.
  • Slashdot []
  • I'd say that Luminex would be great for my second-base mobile, along with the quadraphonic sound, the waterbed, and the strobe light.

    oh yeah baby!
  • Great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kanasta (70274) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @04:34AM (#5385340)
    now I'll have to buy new clothes when the perfume runs out?
  • Let the president wear luminex suits and it will bring a little brightness into the White House.
  • And what happens if I want my new self-illuminating bright green jacket to be Scent Free?

    And why weave scents into the fabric anyway?

  • I can just see the novelty market for this...

    Tweed sweaters with that "old man" smell

    Bras for your teenage daughter that smell like gun smoke.

    Skirts for your ex-wife that smell like female dogs in heat, but only to other dogs. Now an excuse to get her a present this year!

    Bed sheets that always smell like you've washed them.

    Car upolstery that always smells new.

    Child clothes that smell like bubblegum.

  • by DohDamit (549317) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @07:41AM (#5385715) Homepage Journal
    Lisa Simpson, your discovery has finally found a practical method of application! Geeks of the world, unite to throw off your scent, so that the bullies only smell salad dressing, instead of your fear!
  • Why not . . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Badgerman (19207) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @07:50AM (#5385735)
    Create clothes that have deoderant in them instead. I know several people that could use self-deoderizing clothes as opposed to better-smelling ones.

  • by ryanvm (247662) on Wednesday February 26, 2003 @08:20AM (#5385843)
    A new technology will soon enable scents to be woven into fabrics.

    Scents inextricably bound to fabric? Where have I seen this before []?
  • SPIT (Score:2, Funny)

    by carlos_benj (140796)
    I would prefer the technology be called Sensory Perception Integration Technologies (SPIT) - the clothes that make you drool.

    You could bask in the glistening SPIT on your clothes or relish the thought that passers by can enjoy the smell of SPIT on your shirt.....
  • "The smells are almost subliminal so as not to create any conflicts with the wearer's personal perfumes," ICI added.
    So you can't actually smell the smells - but they are there - honestly :) 1. Buy some cheap fabric 2. Get some clothes run up in a sweat shop 3. Advertise them as 'having Pheromones impregnated right into the fabric'. 4. ... 5. Profit! :)

  • This will add at least a week to the tokenringish clothes reciclying ...
  • I think we slashdotted the hirez bra pic on the luminex site. :)
  • I just happened to be there to see Aida on the 22nd. I was particularly confused when I saw the clothes glowing on some characters. At first I though it was something like a glow stick. But then I saw a plug comming out of one of the costumes...

    Too bad the acoustics couldn't keep up with the costumes!
  • I saw the dress rehersal for Aida a week ago. I saw the glowing dress and kept thinking to myself "Sure the lady is fat, but where are they hiding all those lights?"
  • Obviously, performance art is one area where luminescent clothing is useful. It will surely be a fashion fad among the youth, if it's affordable. In fact, even more so if it is not. But after a while, the fad will fall out of favor, and glowing clothes will take their rightful and practical place - as visibility enhancement for people for whom this is important.

    Cops directing traffic, EMT's, tour guides, chaperones at field trips, joggers, night-time skiiers, and so forth. These people would actually benefit from being visible in low light, like actors.

    As for the scratch and sniff clothing, it strikes me as just plain silly at first glance. But, after the initial onslaught of Channel No. 5 and Tommy Hilfiger scented, Tommy Hilfiger branded clothes, this too will find practical use.

    Think of rescue dogs trained to sniff out a particular trace scent. Think of mountain climbers and skiiers, who might be burried in an avalanche. Or first responders who might get caught in a building collapse. Or miners.

    It might seem goofy and little more than novel at face value, but this stuff might make a positive difference in the world - if it's used smartly.
  • Lovely, but I think that is a bit expensive for one disco night...(not to mention that it's 80's stuff) :-) Plus, you only get to choose one scent for a piece of clothing? Hmm...I like deodorant more :-)

  • A passive way to do the same thing:

    I seem to remember a factoid from high school chemistry MANY years ago that most detergents used for washing clothes had dye in them. The dyes floureses (word?) so that "whites look whiter".

  • by kaens (639772)
    Scented tiny droplets contained inside miniature waterproof particles are woven into fabrics to be released upon activation by movement or touch. The fabrics are dry cleanable and machine washable."
    wouldnt that either make the clothing smell either really strong at first, or make the clothe's smell fade with time, or both?
    if i want to have smelly clothes, ill just spill some perfume on them
  • Imagine all the new pornos, fetishes and condoms this will spawn.
  • I heard the NPR radio show. The commentator delved in with quick blunt and descriptive hands-on fact checking. Seeing for himself exactly how well the cloth did in both light and dark conditions. The SlashDot editors could really take a que from this guy!
  • I saw Aida last night with the Luminex costumes. They only really had two scenes using it.. one of the scenes worked very well - dancers had "wings" made of it. It was very effective.

    The other scene was less impressive. It ended up coming across as tacky. What made it even worse was they didn't bother to hook up a remote controlled on/off switch, so the performer had to hold a switch in her hand to turn it on at the right time.

    Even with the effective scene, it seems more like a gimic that would be more appropriate for use in Cats, or just about any other Andrew Lloyd Webber production, than opera.

    I couldn't think of a single use in my home or wardrobe where I would even contemplate using it. Of course, with the price, there is no chance of it showing up in my home anyway.

  • On the luminex website in the techincal info section there is a question about whether or not the fabric emits electromagnetic wave.

    Answer: Absolutely Not.

    Again, does the light emitting fabric emit electromagnetic waves?

    I refer you to the 400 to 700 nm section of your electromagnetic spectrum.

Breadth-first search is the bulldozer of science. -- Randy Goebel