In many ways gold is the king of jewelry. You might even say it is the gold standard, pardon the pun, but soon there may be a new contender to take away the bling-bling crowd. Think about a beautiful bride walking down the aisle in the most outstanding bridal jewelry you have ever seen. You can tell that it is either from a custom jeweler or it might be antique, but the long and the short of it is that it is outstanding bridal jewelry. What would happen if this jewelry not only shimmered and shined, but truly lit up? According to researchers from MIT this is coming close to a reality. They have been working on a product called DuoSkin which is a type of jewelry that is able to display the wearers individuality through the use of special pigments that react to heat and change colors accordingly.
Usually we associate gold, silver and diamond to outstanding bridal jewelry, but there might be a new option that is tapping into the new technology of the 21st century. Think of the old mood rings, but more advanced. This technology is in effect disposable and adheres to human skin. This new custom jewelry is very close to the idea of the traditional peel and stick tattoo. But where the peel and stick temporary tattoo only had one design this new ?tattoo? can display different colors and pictures with a nuanced display. The tattoo adheres to the skin and is meant to be disposable after several uses. Researchers stated that they were more interested in a temporary user interface rather than a permanent one.
The technology is made of several layers of thermodynamic pigments, gold leaf, and special adhesives that layered with a silicon covering. This new type of custom jewelry is thin and breathable. Researchers say that they were inspired to design this type of jewelry based off of the idea of the popular peel and stick body jewelry. As for the color changing aspect, researchers say that the changing of color is slightly reminiscent to a LCD display except with different textures and a much slower speed.
This new heat activated jewelry has a resistive heating element that is secured below heat activated crystals. The layer of gold leaf is connected to little battery pack. This allows for the heat to change the pigment to cycle through colors. This jewelry does no only change colors, but it is also able to display different patterns. Researchers created a special phone application which allows users to control the display of their jewelry. The application works for all smart phones. The jewelry can also be controlled by a small controller that can be attached to the users clothing. This controller allows the user to change the color of the display or even change a song. Each image takes about half a minute to fully display. After about less than a minute it then changes back to the original color.
The large difference between this technology and say the typical temporary peel and stick tattoo is that they are much more resistant to the effects of water. They are able to stand up to about two days? worth of wearing before they begin to peel away. One of the downfalls however is that using gold leaf has some downfalls. For one, the gold leaf needs to cut to an exacting measurement that takes very specific equipment to cut it correctly. There are also issues with the circuitry being spread evenly across layers.
Considering the more dubious side of the precious metal and rare gem trade this new technology could be a game changer for the world of jewelry. Not only is this technology more customizable it speaks more to a wearers individuality. This would allow for all types of jewelry that can be customizable to special situations. Heirloom jewelry could be used as template to make copies outstanding bridal jewelry for weddings without fear of breaking the original antique jewelry and risking a jewelry repair. This could also be used for advertising purposes, imagine athletes wearing these heat activated logos while they were competing, it would build visibility for the companies that they are sponsored by.