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Fancy storing information on non-electronic clothing?

By Nickey Ross - on 1 Nov 2017, 12:38pm

Fancy storing information on non-electronic clothing?

Image source: University of Washington.

Researchers from the University of Washington have developed smart fabric that consists of only conductive thread and zero electronics. To achieve that, the team played with the polarity of fabric that was magnetized in cloth patches to encode various kinds of data, such as 2D images and strings of bits, which are able to retain passwords. A regular smartphone is used as it is able to read the data with its built-in magnetometer. The scientists also discovered that even when ironed, washed or dried, the magnetized fabric still keeps data.

A glove made of the smart fabric was created, which could make gestures in front of a smartphone with an accuracy of 90 percent. The researchers explained that the smart fabric could be in used in necklaces, ties, belts, shirt cuffs, as well as wristbands that can store data. After a week, the scientists noticed a 30-percent decrease in the smart fabric's initial magnetic field strength. However, the fabric could be remagnetized and have the ability to maintain partial field strength for months.

Researchers note that the smart fabric is in fact significantly more affordable than an RFID reader. Plus, any smartphone with a magnetometer is able to access the data stored in the smart fabric, whereas RFID tags need custom readers that adhere to the specific frequency in the 120kHz to 10GHz band. Watch the video below to see how the smart fabric works.

Source: Engadget.