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Spectacular Graphene Light-Up Dress Responds to Breathing

Lights will change color as breath gets deeper, but the atom-thick material underneath is the real star.

Graphene is set to be the next big thing in not just tech, but life — the atom-thick carbon compound is stronger than diamond, flexible, transparent, and super-conductive. In theory, it could be used to power much, much more powerful computer processors, but could also be used in anything from bulletproof vests to medical procedures. As of this week, we can add one more thing to the list — really cute light-up dresses.

Per The Guardian, the black dress was debuted at the Trafford Center in Manchester, England, the city where graphene was discovered and isolated by researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov in 2004. Manchester’s National Graphene Institute teamed up with Cute Circuit, a fashion company that has been using tech in their clothes for years, to create the dress, which is outfitted with LED lights that change color depending on the wearer’s breathing.

The dress is a redesigned version of Cute Circuit’s Little Black Dress, which was originally a sleeker light-up dress, unlike the more flared version they debuted this week. Cute Circuit has worked with quite a few high-profile artists, too — Nicole Scherzinger wore the older Little Black Dress during a 2014 show, and Katy Perry once wore another of Cute Circuit’s dresses during one of her performances.

In this dress, the graphene is used primarily for its thinness and conductivity. Using graphene on the breathing sensors and underneath the lights, Cute Circuit has been able to rig up lights with much less effort. The ease of using graphene should also give them more design freedom — exciting stuff!

So, why isn’t graphene everywhere? Unfortunately, researchers haven’t yet figured out the toughest problem facing graphene — how to mass produce it. Current processes are expensive and inefficient, which means they won’t be showing up in any consumer gadgets in the near future. Here’s hoping for sooner rather than later — either way, the future of fashion just keeps looking better and better.

Via The Guardian