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A groundbreaking AI-enabled fabric that changes colors with gestures aims to revolutionize fashion and reduce waste.

A research team in Hong Kong has developed a revolutionary color-changing textile, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to offer a dynamic clothing experience. This innovation, emerging from the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab) in Hong Kong, is poised to significantly reduce clothing waste. The team's technology embeds a tiny camera into the fabric, enabling the textile to alter its color in response to simple gestures.

The fabric, a blend of polymeric optical fibers (POFs) and standard textile yarns, showcases a unique capability to illuminate in various hues. By performing specific gestures, wearers can change the fabric's color: a thumbs-up results in a deep blue, a heart sign shifts it to pink, and an 'OK' sign turns it green. Additionally, users can customize colors through a mobile app, with AI algorithms assisting the camera in distinguishing individual gestures.

Professor Jeanne Tan, who works at Polytechnic University's School of Fashion and Textiles and heads the research team, notes the POFs are made of polymethyl methacrylate which is recyclable and the structure of the textile enables easy separation of POFs from yarns for recycling.

Central to this innovation is the use of environmentally friendly materials. Professor Jeanne Tan of Polytechnic University's School of Fashion and Textiles, who leads the research team, highlights that the POFs are made from recyclable polymethyl methacrylate. The fabric's structure is designed for easy separation of the POFs from the yarns, facilitating recycling. Moreover, despite its high-tech features, the fabric retains a soft feel, comparable to conventional knitted textiles.

Currently showcased in various installations across Hong Kong, including shopping malls, AiDLab aspires to commercialize this technology, according to Reuters. This development not only represents a significant step in sustainable fashion but also opens up new avenues for personal expression and utility in clothing, aligning with global efforts to reduce textile waste and promote environmentally responsible fashion solutions.

Eunice is a sustainability writer whose passion is sharing accessible eco-friendly practices with GreenCitizen's global readership. She enjoys birdwatching during her downtime, often deriving inspiration from nature's resilience. An enthusiastic cyclist, she is also an ardent advocate of eco-friendly transport.

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