Paul Scherrer Institute
Imagine if there was protective clothing that usually stayed soft and comfortable, but that could instantly harden when needed. Such technology may someday be possible, thanks to a new understanding of a tiny animal's shell.
In order for a thief to bypass a security system's interface, they generally have to see that interface in the first place. That's why Swiss scientists have designed an access code keypad which is completely transparent.
While shape-memory materials do have some interesting applications, many of them require the application of heat in order to change shape – and that could cause problems, in environments such as the human body. A new material, however, relies instead on a magnetically-responsive liquid.