Photo of Stefanie Mueller

Computer & electronics hardware

Stefanie Mueller

Reprogramming the appearance of objects.

Year Honored



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It’s easy to change the appearance of a digital photo by applying a digital filter. Now imagine the same principle applied to physical objectsclothing that could change its appearance daily or even hourly. Stefanie Mueller, 34, is developing a way to reprogram the appearance of objects using photochromic dyes with fine control over each color channel. “Developing this method required me to leverage knowledge from optics, materials science, hardware engineering, and computational optimization algorithms,” she says. Mueller thinks her innovation could be useful in product design. Instead of just buying a shirt, she says, you might buy a subscription that gives that shirt a new look every day.