Many animals, including some species of squids and octopuses, possess camouflage abilities that allow them to change the texture and color of their skin to better blend in with their surroundings. Researchers at MIT are working to create a synthetic material that mimics this color changing ability. The new technology includes an electro-active elastomer with responsive molecules that react when voltage is applied. This interesting color science would allow the material to change colors and blend in with surroundings until the voltage is released. At this point the molecules and elastomer would return to the neutral state, much like the skin of a cephalopod.
The developers of this new technology are projecting that it will be incredibly useful in a variety of applications. One of the most promising applications is used within the military. Color changing technology will provide troops and vehicles the ability to more efficiently camouflage their whereabouts. Instead of relying on fixed camouflage patterns their clothing and vehicles could constantly change to better respond to the surroundings. A dynamic camouflage would allow them to effectively maneuver in many different environments.
If you'd like to learn ore about interesting color science, visit the Dunn Edwards website. We are committed to helping our customers learn about color and the science behind it.