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Magnetic Memory Fabric

November 8, 2017

Magnetic fabric could let your clothes store data.

Transcript

Using magnetic properties of conductive thread, University of Washington researchers are able to store data in fabric. Dennis WiseUW


Using magnetic properties of conductive thread, University of Washington researchers are able to store data in fabric. In this example, the code to unlock a door is stored in a fabric patch and read by an array of magnetometers. (Dennis Wise/University of Washington)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Clothing with a memory. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Magnetic fibers sewn into clothing can store data, just like the magnetic strip on your credit card. University of Washington computer scientists Shyam Gollakota and Justin Chan demonstrated the technology at a meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery. Chan explains that the fabric is magnetic, rather than electronic.

JUSTIN CHAN (University of Washington):

So you don’t need to wear a Bluetooth dongle or a microprocessor or an electronic chip on your shirt. Instead, what we have is a solution where you can have some fabric that’s on your shirt, and that fabric can store data like a magnetic hard disc.

HIRSHON:

And the clothing won’t lose the data, even after washing and drying. Chan says the technology could be used to encode security clearance into a uniform, or let you control your mobile phone or game with different motions of your shirt cuff. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.