Take the computer out of your phone, and put it in your clothes.

A pair of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are exploring wearable tech in a way that could change every device you own. They’ve put a portable, personal, fully functioning cloud into a leather jacket.

Currently we have computing power spread across a range of devices – a phone, a smart watch, a tablet, a laptop – which means duplicated processing and storage, for everything we want to access in more than one place. Ragib Hasan and Rasib Khan have been working on removing the need for that duplication.

With their portable cloud, whichever device you’re using, the work is done in the same place – in your jacket. Your phone, your watch, even your laptop, becomes simply a controller. Linking your devices suddenly becomes automatic – because everything is happening in your jacket.

The pair hope that this will remove the need to a range of highly expensive items, making smart devices more affordable and customisable. Hasan and Khan presented their research in June – it will be a while before it has any impact on what devices you buy.

The next question is how to make it adaptable. After all, no one wears the same jacket every day of the year.