A jacket that lights up the night

At the IFA conference taking place in Berlin this week, Philips Research is showing off a jacket with a flexible array of LED lights. It's like having a bunch of flashlights on your back. You could use it to be seen in a snowdrift, make a fashion statement, or walk up and down a large urban sidewalk and advertise for a restaurant.

Lumalive

Philips is big on LEDs. An LED light bulb can last 50,000 hours, far longer than conventional sources, and be integrated into a lot of items. Plus, by integrating different colors of LEDs into an object, you can change the color of the light.

Philips won't make these jackets, being shown in the booth. Instead, it will license the technology. Who knows? They could team up with Britain's Eleksen , which makes flexible electronic fabric. They have made jackets with built-in MP3 controllers.

IFA--otherwise known as Internationale Funkausstellung--is one of the largest consumer electronics shows in the world.

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    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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