Intelligent materials are materials that possess the property of changing to a degree controlled by external stimuli, for example, mechanical stress, temperature, humidity, pH, electrical field or magnetism.
Electrically conductive ink, transparent windows that become opaque at the touch of a switch, jelly that makes sounds, all these exist already and Catarina Mota, together with co-founder Kirty Boyle of project OpenMaterials, say that it arrived at the moment of experimenting to invent new intelligent objects.
Presented during the Ted Conference of 2012, OpenMaterials consists of a collaborative research project to experiment in new intelligent materials and offers us an overview of incredible and fantastic materials tempting us to experiment with them, try them and enjoy them!
Intelligent materials are difficult to get in small quantities and the information about how to use them is practically non-existent and it is even less known how to buy these products. Thus for now they predominantly exist as secret commercial interests and the patents are affordable only to universities and companies.
The project Open Materials, however, remaking itself in the spirit of open source, looks to promote materials for studying and developing in a collaborative manner with the people of the internet or whomever is interested in them. This is to increase people’s awareness about what is happening in the science of materials, but also because the creators of the project are convinced that the most creative inventors are often found among amateurs.
With such knowledge and instruments in the hands of a large number of people, the materials always perform better, and it opens the doors to possibilities that were unthinkable before. It is enough just to think about the usefulness of silicon in microprocessors or the upcoming revolution in graphene to understand how important a single material can be.