Researchers from Microsoft and several universities have developed Capacitivo, an intelligent tissue system that recognizes food, beverages and other objects only by touch. The fabric uses a combination of capacitive mesh electrodes and machine learning to measure the material and shape of the subject. This also works with some containers, including glasses and bowls.

Originally, researchers turned this technology into a tablecloth and found it particularly useful for cooking. Smart cloth can offer food based on what is on the table, and a special diet control application will know what you ate.

However, scientists also call Capacitivo technology a reminder tool. For example, to remind you to wash an empty bowl of food if you leave it on the table.

But it is not that simple. The initial project has limitations. It does not recognize metal objects and will not work with books or other objects with square edges. It also has problems with credit cards and other items that do not have a clear system of shape and capacity. Some drinks do not give reliable results.

So do not expect a smart tablecloth in the near future, although technology should improve over time. The team hopes that the fabric will learn how to detect metal, it will be able to connect the touch input, and the scientists will be able to implement many other updates. If all goes well, this can lead to a really seamless smart home, where you don’t have to rely on a smart scale, scan or other applications to detect something.