Warning Signs: Clothing That Detects Carbon Monoxide

Two of today's hottest areas of design innovation – data visualization and materials science – converge in a new project by NYU students Sue Ngo and Nien Lam. Warning Signs are garments outfitted with carbon monoxide sensors that make blue veins appear on lung- and heart-shaped thermochromic fabric appliques when a high level of air pollution is detected.


The project is part of the duo's Master's coursework at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is designed to serve as a visceral awareness tool for an environmental issue so ubiquitous we often fail to notice it.

Though still a prototype, the Warning Signs addresses a serious issue which, left unmanaged, can have unspeakably tragic results. It would be interesting to see residential applications of the technology – from a couch that lights up when a carbon monoxide leak is detected to a rug that changes patterns based on atmospheric pollution levels.

via WNYC

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less