Our wireless, hands-free, automatic, smart device era may be about to get even smarter, thanks to high-tech smart fabric that can send out signals to devices or turn itself into a health monitor.

via GIPHY

This cloth is based on what’s known as the “body area network”; I’ve also heard it called the “personal area network.”

It’s a wireless field that can communicate from one device to another.

If you’ve ever used one of those hotel key cards that you hold up to a sensor to open the door, or if your car can start just by holding the keychain near the start button, that’s the network.

Typically the range for these kinds of devices is pretty small, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine found ways to extend it to almost four feet AND to embed it within their special fabric.

That means you could have a jacket that starts your car when you get close enough to it, or a sweater that could open the security door at the office.

This fabric can not only communicate, it can serve as a sensor.

Patients at the hospital wouldn’t need to have all those sensors attached to their skin; instead, they could put on a high-tech hospital gown which would send all the same info to the doctors and nurses.

Maybe next they could invent a line of chatty clothes that introverts could wear, so our shirts could carry on conversations that we don’t want to have.

Here’s a story for you if you’re doing any traveling over the holiday.

Earlier this month the community of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina got an email from a guy who said he’d spotted one of their blue trash barrels in County Mayo, Ireland.

It seems the barrel left the beach in America and traveled all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.

Invention lets people pay for purchases with a high-five (Science Daily)

Traveling Trash Can Visits Ireland From Myrtle Beach (City of Myrtle Beach, SC)

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Photo by Craig A Rodway via Flickr/Creative Commons

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