Graphene dress lights up when you breathe

Graphene, an allotrope of carbon, is a wonderful, relatively new material with a lot of potential. It is ultrathin – only one atom thick – lightweight, conductive, flexible, thermal, and the strongest known material. In short, it can be used for many applications. Researchers at the National Graphene Institute collaborated with the fashion designers of Cute Circuit to create a ‘little black dress’ with a high tech twist: it has graphene-enhanced sensors lined throughout the garment’s top half that capture the wearer’s breathing patterns, which light up integrated LED lights.

According to Cute Circuit, they used the hexagonal crystals, of which graphene consists, as a starting point for the dress.

The LED lights are powered by a microprocessor, which analyses the breathing pattern and changes the colour of the LEDs accordingly. Deep breaths turn the lights from purple to turquoise, while lighter ones make the LEDs switch from orange to green.

While graphene is used to power the LED lights and as a sensor to record the wearer’s breathing, more everyday materials like crin, a woven lightweight nylon fabric, were used to frame the dress.

The designers hope the technology could eventually be used to make a dress that can be programmed to show any colour or design.

Photos: INTU Trafford Centre (via CNN)