Electroluminescent (EL) lighting technology is not new. It’s been used for some time now in the dashboard displays of automobiles as well as in cell phone screens. However, SafeLites’ GlowSkin uses unique, flexible EL lamps and can be made to any size or shape. The EL lamps are activated using special electronics, an inverter to control voltage and frequency and a power source, which the company says is usually a battery. Also, the lamps are washable, so you can put them into all types of clothing–everything from vests to wear during road work to snowboarding jackets.
There are a number of industrial ways this stuff can be used because it doesn’t impair night vision, it can be seen at great distances and through smoke, fog or snow and they don’t generate heat or require much power. But we’re looking forward to GlowSkin showing up in consumer products since it can be used to illuminate the wires of earbuds, cases for portable electronic devices like MP3 players or gaming systems and parts of gaming peripherals such headsets, controllers and keyboards.
EDIT: Reporter Matt Hickey says if he saw someone walking down the street with a glowing shirt, say an annoying club kid, he’d have to punch them in the head just on principle.
GlowSkin [Company website]