Color-changing gloves warn wearers of hazardous substances

    By Tom | Small Business


    Accurate color indicators have been used in the chemistry research field for the past century thanks to the commercialization of solutions such as universal indicator, to help check if material is dangerous. We’ve previously a number of innovations take advantage of similar technology — from syringes that warn if they’ve been used to LED ice cubes that track the amount of alcohol consumed. Now the Fraunhofer Research Institution in Germany has created gloves that indicate if a toxic substance is being handled by changing color.

    One of the reason why many materials often handled by those in the chemical, industrial or semiconductor sectors are so harmful is that they’re not visible to the human eye. According to the researchers, the new gloves use sensor-activated dyes which turn the protective garments from white to bright blue when a chemical such as carbon monoxide or hydrogen sulfide become present. The gloves could aid workers by alerting them to gas leaks before they’re otherwise able to detect them. The researchers are working on developing the technology to detect a wide array of chemicals, and the team says the same innovation could eventually be used in other applications, such as determining if food has been improperly stored and spoiled.

    How else can smart visual cues be applied to everyday items to help users become more aware of information typically invisible to the human eye?


    Spotted by Murtaza Patel, written by Springwise

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