From touch-sensitive denim jackets to Project Soli in smartphones, Google’s quest for a novelty-looking handling experience has never stopped. Recently, the company showed off a magic “smart tactile braid” prototype. The principle is to add a 360-degree touch operation to the cable by introducing a range of capacitive and conductive yarns. The device, called I/O Braid, uses the “spiral sensing matrix” (HSM) to identify the user’s pinching, tapping, squeezing, or gently sweeping.
Friends who are used to listening to music through wired headphones must not be unfamiliar with this description. To provide visual feedback, Google even added fiber to the wire skin of I/O Braid.
As a research project, I/O Braid is expected to be integrated into a wide range of consumer-grade electronics. For example, add touch control to the speaker’s power cord or headphone cable, or create a hoodie with touch-sensing to connect your phone and control music.
To improve recognition accuracy and accurately identify different types of touch and user intent, Google has also recruited volunteers to interact with I/O Braid. The machine learning model is then trained on the basis of data collection.
Interactive Cords Using Touch-Sensing Textiles and Fiber Optics (via)
Google says the software achieves about 94% of gesture recognition accuracy, including swipes, pinching, twisting, and more. Interestingly, users say the twisting action is easier and faster than traditional volume adjustment.