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Is that a password in your pocket, or are you happy to see me? Science’s wearable data technology

The minds of science have apparently struck magnetic gold, as they’ve developed a technology that will remember your passwords. The fools, the damned fools.

 

 

The complete enablement of your brain’s inability to retain information is almost utter, with the news that a collective of lab-coated enablers have invented a piece of clothing that will remember your passwords for you.

Consider it the wearable version of that friend of yours that has their life organised to the nanosecond, who, if we’re honest with ourselves, should make a pass at, as they’d probably be good for us.

Computer scientists at the University of Washington developed the garment, which apparently needs no sensors nor electronic tags upon it, granting the user the ability to lazily vogue their way through the security door at work.

 

 

“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.”

 

Computer scientists at the University of Washington developed the garment, which apparently needs no sensors nor electronic tags upon it, granting the user the ability to lazily vogue their way through the security door at work.

 

So, how does it work? The minds at UW have clutched onto the conductive properties of your standard off-the-rack fare, adding the cummerbund of data. The rate of power aforesaid garment was measured by a freely downloadable magnetometer, and ispo-zappso, wah hey, yay science.

“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. Applying the above theory, they were able to store the passcode to an electronic door lock on a patch sewn into a shirt cuff. Wave the cloth at the door, and open sesame.

Consider the possibilities sparse, with the shortcomings fairly minimal.

The team also demonstrated that the magnetised fabric could be used to interact with a smartphone while it is in one’s pocket. Researchers developed a glove with conductive fabric sewn into its fingertips, which was used to gesture at the smartphone. Each gesture yields a different magnetic signal that can invoke specific actions, like pausing or playing music.

“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.

In the team’s tests, the phone was able to recognize six gestures — left flick, right flick, upward swipe, downward swipe, click and back click — with almost 100% accuracy. Future work is focused on developing custom textiles that generate stronger magnetic fields and are capable of storing a higher density of data.

More data, more possibilities, more applications.

 

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