Google experiments with touch-sensitive fabric cords

Google is working on a prototype of a smart cord of sorts which help users control their music, other media by tapping, twisting and pressing on cords.

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Google is experimenting with a prototype for the touch-sensitive fabric cords to regulate music and other media. The prototype of the material cord has been made with what Google calls Helical Sensing Matrix (HSM) which helps the user control music by simply using his fingers. Since these cords are touch-sensitive, instructions are often given depending upon the discretion of the user. The user can either single tap, double-tap, twist or apply pressure on the cord.

Google in its AI blog stated that it is experimenting with a new product of e-textile, HSM Touch-Sensitive Fabric Cords

Google stated that it focused on e-fabric cords as they are available in handy for various purposes like drawstrings in hoodies or pullovers. they’re also used as wired connections for data and power across consumer devices. This HSM comes in braided sort of insulated e-fabric or yarns which are designed to transmit and receive messages which enable mutual capacitive sensing.

The capacitive coupling at their intersections is modulated by the user’s fingers, and these interactions are often sensed anywhere on the cord since the braided pattern repeats along the length, Google noted. The cord has fiber optics functioning and can give feedback in sort of light or sound.

These cords are touch-sensitive since they have receptors and also have fiber optics for feedback

“We want to assist the user to discover functionality and obtain continuous feedback on their actions. Where possible, we offer visual, tactile, and audio feedback integrated within the device. supported these principles, we leverage our e-textile architecture to enable interaction techniques supported our ability to sense proximity, area, contact time, roll, and pressure,” Google noted.

The pattern of a braid is repetitive which can help users give instructions anywhere through the length of the braid. “By exploiting techniques from textile braiding, we integrate both gesture sensing and visual feedback along the surface through a repeating matrix topology,” Google noted According to Google, the software is in a position to differentiate between the various gestures including tapping, squeezing, and twisting the cord with up to 94 percent accuracy.

Google has previously come up with e-fabric wearables like insole shoes, jackets, and backpacks

This is not the primary time Google has worked with e-fabrics. In March it teamed up with Adidas to unveil a sensible shoe insole. The shoe insole that connects to your phone and may turn your kicks and movement on the soccer field into rewards, The Verge noted. Google also worked on a denim jacket made in partnership with Levi’s. The jacket lets people control their music or get traffic updates by swiping on the sleeve cuff.

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