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This Wearable Ecosystem Can Charge Your Phone

MIT professor Neri Oxman designs microbe-infested clothes that change color and produce solar energy.
GIF by the author via

Imagine a suit that can change colors, emit scents of your own curation, grow its own food, and can charge your cell phone. That's exactly what MIT professor Neri Oxman and MIT's Mediated Matter Group are developing, and they've just 3D printed a prototype called Mushtari as part of the Wanderers Collection.

"The wearable is designed to function as a microbial factory that uses synthetic biology to convert sunlight into useful products for the wearer," the group explains on Vimeo. As they said when the original designs were unveiled in November, the bio-enabled wearables could be invaluable for explorers visiting extreme environments, like the Arctic Circle, underwater caverns, and space. Mushtari's intenstine-shaped design looks more like tomorrow's sci-fi couture than something NASA would clothe its astronauts in, but the design process, based on actual organic growth, allows for an astounding 59' of usable, microbe-infested tubing.


In the video below, watch the birth of Oxman's recent prototype of the intenstine-like plastic suit, from concept to design to construction, and finally, onto a model's living frame.

Screencap via

Learn more about Neri Oxman on her website, and visit the Mediated Matter Group to see more of their work.


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