Scientists at the University of Washington are developing a material that can be used as a fabric for sewing clothes and at the same time as a data storage device. The main goal is to look for ways to eliminate fragile and volatile electronics for personal identification and access to various everyday objects and services.
The prototype tissue contains areas that can be magnetized from outside and the magnetic field around them is maintained for a long time without any support. This fabric can be wrinkled, ironed, washed and heated without risk of data loss. And you only need a smartphone with a magnetometer to read the recorded information.
To be fair - when wearing smart fabric clothes, the magnetic field charge is lost very quickly, up to 30% of the initial level within a week. But the residual tension is recorded even after several months of operation. Plus, the information can be easily rewritten using the simplest and cheapest equipment - data carriers on a magnetic basis have been used for almost a century.
The development prospects are controversial, the only undeniable trump card of smart fabric is that it is much cheaper than RFID tags. The reader for them must operate in a specific frequency range and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. At the same time, the price of a magnetometer integrated into a case for a smartphone is $ 0.78. And the cost of writing one password on a scarf or sleeve of a codend is estimated at $ 0.77. It is even cheaper than a set of conventional keys for a padlock.