MIT’s new ink could turn us all into what?

Answer: Chameleons.

by Kate Albrecht / September 12, 2019
Shutterstock/Kathy Kay

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new kind of ink that could make it easy to change the color of everything from your shirt to your phone case to your car. And the whole process is reversible, so you can keep changing colors as often as you want.

Called PhotoCromeleon, the project involved mixing photochromic cyan, magenta and yellow dyes to create an ink. In its original state, this ink is transparent; however, the photosensitive dyes react to certain wavelengths of UV light and change their color. This color remains until exposed to a UV wavelength that returns it to its translucent state.

The MIT team programmed UV projectors to project patterns onto real-life objects based on 3-D computer models of them. They were able to change the designs on a phone case, a toy car and, fittingly, a 3-D-printed toy chameleon.

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