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These Color-Changing Shirts React to Air Pollution, First of Their Kind

A shirt that detects carbon monoxide, radioactive particles and more.

To the casual eye, New York-based designer Nikola Bentel’s recent collection of hi-tech apparel appear to be ordinary long sleeve shirts. However, if one were to wear these shirts on multiple outings, he or she will soon discover that they are actually extraordinary. Bentel’s Aerochromics line of smart garments apparently react to air pollution. The shirts will change colors and reveal ornate patterns such as cheetah prints and polka dots as they detect carbon monoxide or other radioactive particles outdoors. Each pollutant-reacting shirt contains tiny sensors that scan variations in air quality.

Specifically, if the concentration of pollutants reach a hazardous level then the sensors will trigger a micro controller in the collar which will then activate a series of heat pads—spawning chromic dye found on the shirt to shift from black to white. The designer also claims that this technology has never been applied to clothing. “I am personally interested in pollution and global warming,” Bentel told Dezeen. “A lot of my work is some form of social design.”

Bentel is currently selling two versions on his website: reactive and nonreactive. The reactive shirts will cost you $500 while the nonreactive ones go for $90 USD.

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