The Microsoft Research team has developed a new screen technology that can sense multi-touch input through fabric, including heavy fleece. Called the PocketTouch, the innovation allows users to discretely send text messages when they can’t have their phone out, such as in a meeting or on a dinner date.

The PocketTouch can make out letters and words written on the screen even when it’s hidden in someone’s pocket. The new technology will also make it convenient to operate a smartphone in cold weather without having to take gloves off.

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