University of Washington developed a fabric capable of storing invisible passwords

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The University of Washington has come up with a fabric that stores password/s washing out the need of on board electronics or sensors and enables the user to open the doors eradicating the need to remember the password/s once they are set.

A new category of intelligent fabric developed at the University of Washington could create path for apparels that stock passwords and open the door to a house or an office. The computer scientists at University of Washington have created fabric and accessories that can stock data such as security codes or identification tags without using any electronic devices or sensors.

The data can be read using an instrument embedded in existing smartphones to enable navigation apps. It can also be used linking in with smartphone. Although a special kind of glove is necessary to be used to do the same. The fabric can be reprogramed and re-magnetized multiple times for its maintenance.

“This is a completely electronic-free design, which means you can iron the smart fabric or put it in the washer and dryer,” said senior author Shyam Gollakota, associate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “You can think of the fabric as a hard disk: you’re actually doing this data storage on the clothes you’re wearing,” he further added.

The University of Washington researchers noticed that this conductive thread has magnetic properties that is controllable to store data or information. “We are using something that already exists on a smartphone and uses almost no power, so the cost of reading this type of data is negligible,” said Gollakota. For instance, they stored the password of an electrical door lock on an area of shirt made out of this conductive fabric. Then the researchers unlocked the door by waving the shirt.Researchers also created accessories along with the fabric such as a tie, belt, necklace and wristband and decoded the information by swiping a smartphone across them.

“With this system, we can easily interact with smart devices without having to constantly take it out of our pockets,” said lead author Justin Chan, an Allen School doctoral student.

The research was funded by the,the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Google. The opportunities in this field are found with the Global Automotive Interior Materials Market Material report published by Coherent Market Insights.


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