In a breakthrough development, Capacitivo – a contact-sensitive object-recognition technique developed for creating interactive fabrics. The development is an initiative of a team of researchers working with Microsoft Corp. who published the paper on the ACM digital library site. In the paper, the group describes how well the prototype worked when it was tested.
Meanwhile, over the past decade, several companies have made attempts to create twistable personal electronics for integration in smart clothes. Most efforts, till date, to merge electronics with stretchable fabrics have focused on fabrics that are for use of wear.
New Technique capable to recognize Non-metallic Objects
On the other hand, in the new effort, the focus of researchers is to make other products such as furniture coverings and tablecloths. The idea behind these products is to make the surface aware of what has been placed on them, and then use this information to provide a service. For example, placing a variety of fruits on a table covered with a smart tablecloth could help with meal suggestions. The smart tablecloth could allow a connected device such as a smartphone or smart-speaker to suggest various meals that could be prepared using the fruits.
In fact, prior efforts to make similar products involved creating fabrics that could recognize only metallic objects. With the new effort, a technique developed that can recognize non-metallic objects such as liquids and food. The technique involves knitting a grid of electrodes into a cloth affixed to a textile substrate. Function-wise, the integrated sensors detect changes in the capacitance of electrodes as they are affected by the presence of an object. The cloth is then joined to a deep learning system and trained to recognize objects.