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Excuse Me, But I Think Your Jacket Is On Fire

Philips Research wowed audiences in Berlin at last week’s IFA with a new line of promotional clothing and furniture. Visitors to the worldwide technology tradeshow saw Philips’ Lumalive photonic textiles — jackets, shirts, even furniture that lights up with colored graphics, text and animation.

Admittedly, they look a little like bad special effects — something from a 1980s movie, set in the future when we’re all walking around wearing aluminum foil helmets and Technicolor t-shirts — but at the same time, they’re kind of cool.

The textiles carry light-emitting diodes (LEDs) fully integrated into the fabric. The jackets have 8″ x 8″ panels, but the illuminated area can be made much larger for items such as drapes or sofas. Impressively, the LEDs and batteries are hidden from sight, and the garments are relatively lightweight and flexible.

Early prototypes were on display at the 2005 IFA, but this year showcased far more advanced versions, ready for commercialization. Philips hopes Lumalive will be a hit with companies in the promotional industry looking for an eye-catching new medium.

Here’s the video from the IFA; see for yourself.