Fast-Reacting Fabric: Going with the Flow

Pity the skateboarder who messes up on a jump and slams down on his feet or a skier who hits a slalom gate at 70 m.p.h. While better protection is the obvious answer, skaters want thin sneaker soles so they can feel their board, and skiers are reluctant to relinquish any flexibility. Enter snowboard-loving British inventors Richard Palmer and Phil Green, both 39, and their new material, d3o, which can perform a few high-speed tricks of its own. d3o's molecules flow as an athlete moves, but on impact they bind together instantaneously to absorb shock, then unlock to become soft and...

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