Researchers from Microsoft and several universities have developed Capacitivo, an intelligent tissue system that recognizes food, drinks and other objects solely by touch. The fabric uses a combination of capacitive electrode mesh and machine learning to measure the material and shape of a given item. It also works with some containers, including glasses and bowls.
Initially, researchers turned this technology into a tablecloth and found it especially useful for cooking. Smart Cloth can suggest food based on what is on the table, and a dedicated diet control app will know what you ate.
However, scientists also refer to Capacitivo technology as a reminder tool. For example, to remind you to wash an empty food bowl if you leave it on the table.
But it’s not that simple. The original project has limitations. It will not recognize metal objects and will not work with books or other square-edged objects. He also has problems with credit cards and other items that do not have a clear system of form and capacity. Some drinks do not give reliable results.
So don’t expect a smart tablecloth to appear in the near future, although technology should improve over time. The team hopes that the fabric can learn to detect metal, can connect to touch input, and scientists can implement many other updates. If all goes well, it could lead to a truly seamless smart home where you don’t have to rely on smart scales, scans, or other apps to detect it.