Add up all the restaurant tablecloths, hospital bedsheets and work uniforms that people use every day, and you get a linen industry that has to track billions of items. New materials developed by Brown University physicist Nabil Lawandy may stream-line this task.
The materials return specific frequencies of light when struck by a laser beam. Putting an array of threads spun from this material into the border of a tablecloth or the label of a garment results in a “smart textile” that identifies itself optically under laser illumination. The threads are faster to read and more durable than the bar codes and radio chips now used for identification. Spectra Science of Providence, R.I., has formed a textile-manufacturing division called Millennium Textiles to commercialize the new material.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.