The smart cloth is a relatively new tech that hasn’t seen much use yet. However, Microsoft, like many other tech companies, is working on a project that involves smart fabric and might have figured out a potential application.
The software maker recently revealed that it made a breakthrough with the fabric, and it can detect food, drinks, and other objects placed on it based solely on touch. According to the paper they published, the cloth can identify objects based on their material and shape and is named Capacitivo.
It has been designed using a combination of a capacitive electrode grid and machine learning. The paper details that this tech was initially woven into a tablecloth, with the researchers envisioning that it would prove particularly helpful for cooking.
By using it in combination with apps, it can track calories and help you decide what to make based on what’s sitting on the table, etc. Moreover, Capacitivo can also serve as a memory tool. In case the user forgets keys, earbuds, or wallet on the table, it can remind them with the help of a voice assistant.
However, the technology is far from perfect. It cannot detect metal and has a tough time identifying objects without a clear capacitance footprint, such as books, credit cards, boxes, etc. Hence, it will be a long time before we get to see something like this on the consumer market.