In a peculiar interior design experiment, Nissan covered the car seats and steering wheel on a sporty Nissan Juke vehicle with a material that changes color when it absorbs sweat.
This may seem kind of strange, and perhaps a bit gross. But not to Nissan. The Japanese car company banded with Droog Design to develop the “sweat-sensitive” fabric they call SOAK, to raise awareness about the risk of driving while dehydrated.
This could very well be a relatively cheap marketing ploy, but Nissan cites a 2015 study, undertaken by Loughborough University, which claims that even mild dehydration can result in increased driving errors on long, monotonous drives.
We’ve all been on tedious rides before and know that there’s a lot that can go into causing road fatigue — which is certainly dangerous — but staying hydrated is probably a wise decision.
Nissan is not yet planning to offer the SOAK material in its vehicles. But if the material ever did become an option, the fabric turns blue when you’re hydrated, and a vivid yellow when you’re dehydrated.
The original innovator of SOAK, designer Paulien Routs, initially didn’t intend for the sweat-detecting material to be used in cars.
“I originally created SOAK to be used on workout attire, but when Nissan approached me with plans to implement the technology in a Juke to demonstrate the technology as a concept in their ‘do drink (water) and drive’ campaign, I thought it was fantastic,” Routs told Dexigner.
Stay hydrated out there, folks.
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