Okay, not quite, but close: A new smart fabric, developed in Germany, can trigger an alarm when penetrated, and is flexible enough to be incorporated into building walls and floor coverings, among other materials.
German researchers have created a “smart fabric” that is designed to not only trigger an alarm when breached, but identify the exact place where the breach took place. The fabric is made up of conductive threads woven into a fine lattice and connected to a microprocessor. The two are then “incorporated in a low-temperature process using joining techniques borrowed from the semiconductor industry such as adhesive pressure bonding and non-destructive welding.” The resulting textile was tested in a variety of conditions involving different elements and temperatures, and passed every one.
What’s the Big Idea?
The fabric can be used in a wide range of security applications, particularly those that call for protection of large surface areas. Suggestions include creating tarps from it, laying it underneath the tiles on top of a roof, integrating it into walls surrounding a bank vault, and placing it underneath floor coverings in combination with pressure sensors. One of the researchers says that, although the fabric is a giant electrical conductor, “the current is so weak that it presents no danger to humans or animals.”