Innovation of the week
“Have you ever wished you had something to remember all your passwords?” asked Avery Thompson in PopularMechanics.com. Researchers from the University of Washington have developed a fabric that can store data “in the threads,” enabling it to operate like a keycard or passcode to open doors or unlock accounts. The fabric contains thread that can carry an electric charge, and the researchers magnetized small sections with coded digits. The thread can then be read by a magnetometer, including the kind “built into most smartphones.” That “means you could wear a bracelet that unlocks your bank or email account.” A phone’s magnetometer could also be used with smart fabric to turn “gestures into actions,” so that wearing a magnetic glove would allow you to “close apps, unlock your phone, or pause your music,” even when the phone is in your pocket.
Newscom, Dennis Wise/University of Washington ■