TextileSense: Material-friendly NFC antennas that may be woven into on a regular basis surfaces

Near Field Communication (NFC) is enjoying growing popularity. It enables humans to communicate with objects. What if this NFC technology could be used in a pillow or shoe to sense us and interact with us?

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University’s Laboratory for Emerging Wireless Technologies (WiTech) have developed tissue-friendly NFC antennas that are embedded in everyday surfaces. Scientists called it TextileSense: the technology that can track everyday objects made of conductive materials.

Swarun Kumar, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said, “We achieved this by using multiple flexible NFC coil antennas embedded in common and irregularly shaped surfaces such as furniture and carpets that we interact with in intelligent environments. “

TextileSense project

Scientists embedded flexible NFC coil antennas in common and irregularly shaped surfaces like furniture, carpets, etc. They then designed and manufactured special textile spools that could be woven into the fabric of the furniture and easily covered by acrylic paint.

With a near-field blind beamforming system and a data-driven approach, the system can efficiently identify surrounding objects with their position. Experiments have shown that the TextileSense has an average accuracy of 3.5 cm when locating objects.

Kumar said, “It was a fun collaboration between materials scientists who helped us make fabric-friendly antenna manufacture and a combination of wireless system development and signal processing.”

“We are now looking forward to integrating these sensors into our everyday lives, which contributes to an overall intelligent environment.”

Journal reference:
  1. Jingxian Wang et al. Finding everyday objects with NFC textiles. (Paper)

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