Innovations: Memories Are Made of This

Memories Are Made of This

Wire eyeglass sidepieces that pop back to their pristine form when dipped in hot water. Brassieres that "remember" their original shape while tumbling in the clothes dryer. Both innovations are by-products of a special metal alloy with so-called shape memory, developed nearly 25 years ago by the U.S. military and now reaching consumers.

The unique eyeglasses were unveiled this month by Beta Phase, a Menlo Park, Calif., producer of the metal, and Universal Optical, the frame's distributor. The frames, which revert to their original shape at about 130 degreesF, will be available early next year in the same $80-to-$130 price range...

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