PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s “Welcome Week” at Drexel University. On Sunday, the school gave freshmen a special freebie, in the form of a programmable backpack that is not yet commercially available.
It looks like a cool, yet unremarkable backpack but there’s a unique bar code hidden in the white, black and gray plaid. Genevieve Dion, Director at Drexel’s Center for Functional Fabrics, says that using the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America Looks app, students can scan each other’s backpacks, and see each other’s social media profiles.READ MORE: Phillies Offering 2 Free Tickets to Philadelphia Fans Who Receive COVID-19 Vaccination This Week
“It’s never been done before,” Dion said. “It’s the first time that an app can really connect a textile.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued For Much Of Delaware Valley
It’s a hit with Charlotte Hoover, a Drexel student.
“I honestly think it’s an amazing way to bring students together,” she said. “All they have to do is scan the backpack, and learn who someone is. It’s a brilliant use of technology to infuse into student lifestyle.”
Dion says it turns fabric into another platform, like a smart phone or watch.MORE NEWS: Child Tax Credit: How Much Will Your Monthly Check Be?
“They’re all devices that we add on, and what if we could do that with textiles, and the technology disappears, completely,” Dion said.