The researchers use this property to code strings of digits into bracelets and shirtsleeves, and while these strings of digits are pretty short right now, in the near future they could be long enough to secure your digital valuables with. This means you could wear a bracelet that unlocks your bank or email account, in a similar but more secure version of today’s two-factor authentication.

Magnetic fabric could also be used in combination with your smartphone’s magnetometer to turn certain gestures into actions. For instance, wearing a magnetic glove and tapping or swiping near the magnetometer could open or close apps, unlock your phone, or pause your music. And because magnetic fields pass through clothing, you could use these gestures even when your phone is in your pocket.