You may now store your passwords in your shirt using ‘smart’ fabric

By : |November 1, 2017 0

Storing passwords and data is always a very cumbersome task. We have come a long way from finger print to face recognitions. How about you having the ease to store your data and passwords in your shirt’s cuff or tie?

A team of Allen School researchers, the scientists at the University of Washington, have found a way to create smart fabric, using only conductive thread with no other added electronics. The paper titled “Data Storage and Interaction using Magnetized Fabric” by Justin Chan and Shyamnath Gollakota explores fabric, which leverages the magnetic properties of conductive thread, can be read by the magnetometer embedded in most smartphones.

The research was conducted by manipulating the polarity of magnetized fabric and encoding different forms of data including 2D images and bit strings. These bits can be read by swiping a commodity smartphone across the fabric, using its inbuilt magnetometer.

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The researches used a glove made of magnetized fabric, and also performed six gestures in front of a smartphone, with a classifcation accuracy of 90.1%. Hence, using these magnetized threads, researchers created fashion accessories like necklaces, ties, wristbands and belts with data storage capabilities as well as enable authentication applications.

Hence, their first application of magnetized thread is a data storage scheme on textiles that can be read on a smartphone.The data can then be read by simply swiping the magnetized strip across a smartphone. The second capability aims to use magnetized fabrics as a canvas that a user can use to ‘draw’ invisible images.

The data storage system is susceptible to demagnetization in a similar way that magnetic hard disks and hotel key cards can be erased when placed in a strong magnetic field. Such a system would hence require textiles designed to radiate a stronger magnetic felds that could be detected further from the phone.

Due to this electronic-free design, the fabric can even be washed, dried and ironed. Sounds like magic, doesn’t it?

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