New Synthetic Leather that Changes Color

Our regular materials are becoming smarter and more advanced. For instance, scientists from Cornell University invented synthetic leather with programmable properties. The inspiration for the prototype was the ability of octopuses or cuttlefish to change their color to blend with the environment. As a result, engineers received a material capable of changing color and taking different 3-dimensional shapes.

In structure, the material is similar to skin cells of sea creatures mentioned before. This composition makes the leather flexible as well as giving it the “color-changing” ability. During tests, researchers were able to program the material in such a way that it turned into different forms. Plus, engineers managed to make a rather simple control mechanism that is responsible for all “shape-shifting”.

Scientists mention that this material could be helpful in situations where temperature control is necessary – different shapes could reflect or absorb light. Besides, transformation into 3D-shapes might help when you need specific contact with air or water (regulating speed). Lastly, smart leather might be used for camouflage clothes, so it can be used by military forces.