Slashdot Science Story | Programmable Magnets
: "Instead of having a single North or South pole, these clever devices have an array of North and South poles. If a matching device with exactly the same array is aligned with the first one, they will experience strong repulsion, just like two single North poles do when brought near one another. If the matching device has the complementary array (North and South interchanged), with correct alignment the two devices will attract. But a slight misalignment will cancel most of the force."
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