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.
READ MORE: Philadelphia Animal Shelters, At Or Near Capacity, Hope Betty White Challenge Leads To Forever Homes
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.
“It’s never been done before,” Dion said. “It’s the first time that an app can really connect a textile.”
READ MORE: MLK DAY: Events, Days Of Service In Honor Of Martin Luther King Jr.
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: Wind Advisory In Effect In Philadelphia Region Monday After Snow, Rain Moved Through Delaware Valley
“They’re all devices that we add on, and what if we could do that with textiles, and the technology disappears, completely,” Dion said.