are a class of materials
currently being researched
by various institutions
around the world. The concept is that these materials are to be much more active
than current materials. For example, today, an airplane
wing is made of some combination of aluminum
and such, and it just sits there, other than the mechanical
parts such as the flaps
An intelligent material is much more active. It has the abilitiy to alter it's properties as needed. For example, a liquid crystal glazing over glass would be able to alter transparency, going from clear to opaque. No more blinds or shades needed.
More advanced versions are also in development, where sensors are embedded in the material, allowing for automatic changes to adapt to conditions faster than a human operator could ever manage.