How would you feel if the passwords you used were stored on your t-shirt? Dress with an electronic screen that you can check through your smartphone? Yes there are clothes made with photoluminescent yarns and built-in eye-tracking technology activated by the world's looks!
We are talking about smart fabrics. The following video shows you a fabric that changes structure through microscopic electric motors powered by light sensors that are sewn around the garment.
What about the passwords mentioned in the title?
Researchers at the University of Washington announced last week that they managed to successfully manage the polarity of the magnetized cloth. Using conductive yarn they created fabrics and fashion accessories that can store digital data or visual information.
As the researchers say, the conductive yarn is already in use to create garments or accessories that light up or communicate.
However, as mentioned above, UW researchers have realized that the ferromagnetic properties of the yarn could also be used to store data or visual information. So letters or numbers can be read by a magnetometer: a cheap instrument that measures the direction and strength of magnetic fields and is embedded in most smartphones.
So think about passwords that can be stored on a piece of conductive cloth sewn in a blouse. It is one of the many projects reported by the researchers.
With the use of conductive yarn, the integration of passwords can be done without electronic systems or sensors. Shyam Gollakota, associate professor of UW's School of Computer Science and Engineering Paul G. Allen, says:
We use something that already exists on a smartphone and uses almost no energy, so the cost of reading this type of data is negligible.
A paper (PDF) for the data weaving experiment, entitled "Data Storage and Interaction with Magnetized Fabric" or "Data Storage and Interaction using Magnetized Fabric", was presented last week in Quebec (Quebec) at the Association for Computing Machinery's User Interface Software and Technology Symposium .
The researchers used everyday sewing machines to enrich regular fabric with yarn, creating "patches" that could be turned into garlands, belts, bracelets, necklaces or anywhere else.
Watch the video