Have you ever needed to use your phone inside you pocket? I haven’t, but I’m sure it could be useful in some situations. New technology from Microsoft Research could allow you to use a touchscreen through fabric. The system is called PocketTouch and yes, you can now use your smartphone from the outside of your pocket.
The touch panel is sensitive enough to detect finger inputs through all sorts of fabrics. This might sound good, but it might look awkward in some circumstances, like in a meeting. Stroking your pocket usually implies something different than composing an email or sending a text, if you know what I mean.
Microsoft thinks that the back of a PocketTouch screen could be used like this to read gestures, and already have it deconstructing text characters. I can see this being useful to teens everywhere, who want to send secret text messages without anyone knowing.