At first glance, the latest line of smart clothing looks unassuming—a set of black sweaters appear to be ordinary long sleeve shirts. However, if one were to wear these shirts on multiple outings, he or she will soon discover that they are actually extraordinary. New York-based designer Nikolas Bentel has designed garments apparently react to air pollution. The shirts will change colors and reveal ornate patterns as they detect carbon monoxide or other radioactive particles outdoors.In a matter of seconds, the black fades into a pristine white, revealing an intricate pattern of polka dots, cheetah prints, and another labyrinthine design.
Each pollutant-reacting shirt contains tiny sensors that scan variations in air quality. Specifically, if the concentration of pollutants reach a hazardous level then the sensors will trigger a micro controller in the collar which will then activate a series of heat pads—spawning chromic dye found on the shirt to shift from black to white. The designer also claims that this technology has never been applied to clothing. “I am personally interested in pollution and global warming,” said Bentel. “Everyone should be living in good air conditions and not moderate conditions.” He also said that his goal is not sales, but rather to “spread awareness.”
Bentel is currently selling two versions on his website: reactive and nonreactive. The reactive shirts will cost you $500 while the nonreactive ones go for $90 USD.