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Heat-Sensitive Tiles Blossom When You Walk By

Last we heard of Dutch techno artist Daan Roosegaarde, he was busy working up a sexy e-teddy that flashes its wearer’s netherbits just by being around other people. Now, he’s turned the idea on architecture: His new Lotus 7.0 wall transforms from a sturdy boundary to a see-through fence in the presence of others — every Peeping Tom’s dream.

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The key is hundreds of “smart foils” that unfold when people walk by. (In Roosegaarde’s telling, the foil is a ?very sensitive material which we stole from NASA.”) Each one has sensors that respond to motion then zap little lamps within the wall. The heat of the lamps forces the foil to open; when the lamps switch off, it shuts. We’ve got a demo here:

Roosegaarde has made a career of marrying technology to the people around it. One of his projects was a wall that drew patterns in response to people’s voices. Another (also a wall) reacted to human motion by blowing wind. Lotus 7.0 is the first that doesn’t require additional mechanical apparatuses; the material just flutters on its own. The applications in architecture seem endless — and endlessly frightening. Are we really ready for see-through bathrooms? Maybe in France, where, incidentally, the wall’s debuting Sept. 22. For more info visit www.cubefestival.com.

[Images courtesy of Studio Roosegaarde]

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