Bioskin: an Interface that can Communicate with Your Body

Today’s technology and the amazing changes it can offer to humans lives are clearly unexpected. Primarily, because they are so wide and operate in different fields. Bioskin is definitely a milestone in the history of clothing. A research team from MIT are set to design a garment that could be an interface that can communicate with the body of the user.

BioLogic is the team of researchers from MIT working on developing this unique product, Bioskin. While explaining about Bioskin BioLogic  declared that “Bio is the new interface, we are imagining the world where actuators and sensors can be grown rather than manufactured, being derived from nature as opposed to engineered in factories.”

Through this research, the scientists have been able to unravel the unique characteristic of bacteria Bacillus subtilis natto. The bacteria expands and contracts in response to the atmospheric moisture. With this knowledge, the researchers have relied on bacteria Bacillus subtilis natto to make the fabric “Bioskin.”

Lining Yao, who was responsible for concept creation, interaction design, and fabrication in bioLogic, explains, “The reason we started to explore this bacteria is that we knew that in the natural world there are a lot of smart materials that are naturally responsive. It’s very sensitive to even tiny changes in the skin condition, so we thought an on-skin transformable textile would be a really interesting application.”

The synthetic bio-skin acts in response to body’s temperature. Bioskin on sensing heat and sweat opens the flaps near the heat zones. Further, this allows sweat to evaporate and to cool down the body using an organic material flux. Together with the new balance, BioLogic is applying this technology to produce sportswear that regulates athletes’ body temperatures to enhance performance.

Yao said, “We are trying to explore how the physical materials and physical environment can be smarter, more adaptive, and become part of us. This garment will understand when you sweat, and it will sense and open up to release your sweat, and close up to keep you warm again. A garment can become an interface that can communicate with your body.”

Professor Hiroshi Ishii, who guided the team, explains, “We are devoted to the much more fundamental concept of ‘radical atoms.’ Basically, we are interested in materials that artists and designers would use to express their ideas. For example, a product designer may use metal or glass or plastic. Computer designers may use a pixel in the computer screen, but that’s intangible. Physical materials are nice but frozen; they’re dead. So we are interested in making materials that transform dynamically. That’s what we call ‘radical atoms.’”

The team believes that the project is in line with their vision of “human interaction with future dynamic materials.” Yao adds, “The general idea is not only how you can be inspired by nature, but how you can collaborate with nature.”

Source: http://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/biologic/

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Shobith MAKAM Written by: