Clothing brand Vollebak has created a jacket that has used biomimicry to replicate solutions to high visibility found in nature. The colour-shifting jacket, which uses embedded black glass spheres is based on a squids ability to camouflage.
The surface of the material is comprised of a resin-coated polyester embedded with more than two billion glass spheres. A squid has microscopic plate-like structures on the surface of the skin that react to a complex network of nerves. Both use the structures on their surface to interfere with light waves, reflecting and scattering all the visible light rather absorbing some wavelengths like most colours we normally see.
When in dull light the jacket is black with a slight colour shift sheen. When exposed to bright light however, it reflects every colour in the visible spectrum. This gives an almost iridescent quality that seems to move with liquid like patterns.
Biomimicry is a design sector that replicates elements found in nature by echoing their aesthetics, functionality and systems. This is then used in new innovations and improvements to existing products. Shifting our mindset to biomimicry could help lead us away from dangerous industrial practices and allow us to become more symbiotic with our environments, while also improving our own quality of life through the use of improved products.