Textiles present one of the most interesting opportunities for investigating the challenges of programmable matter. In particular, many actuators are coarse or clunky. So, what if we could explore actuation at the scale of a single fibre? What if actuators could be woven into a textile or embroidered onto an existing piece of fabric? What if a coating could create rigidity in a material that is inherently flowing? This material and scale presents unique possibilities for improved integration between actuators and everyday materials.
Textiles are a ubiquitous technology that is only recently being explored as a medium for augmentation. There are many possibilities, but the technology is still difficult. To focus, consider the desired interaction – what is input, output? Is it slow-changing or need real-time feedback? How does it scale with multiple garments? Multiple people wearing multiple garments? Is this a product in itself or a platform for development?