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Clothes to remember

On the Catwalk

It doesn't need to be just high-tech electronics in smart clothes, so long as the clothes have some way of sensing the situation and reacting to it they are going to be smart. The memory shape blouse is a good example of this simple but smart approach. The blouse has tiny threads of an alloy called nitinol woven into it. This alloy is a memory metal; it can be bent like a thin wire, but at a particular temperature it springs back into its original shape. So if you're hot from dancing at a club your blouse sleeves automatically rise, turning it into a cool, short-sleeved number as if by magic. Memory metals or thermo-chromic liquid crystals that change colour with temperature, jewellery that changes colour depending on your heartbeat, or materials that can have different designs written to them like a computer screen can be combined with clever electronics and software to give a whole range of new fashion items, limited only by the future designer's imagination.

Catwalk comment: shape-shifting shirts should surprise sometimes