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'Smart Braids': Google Experiments With New Touch-Sensitive Headphone Wires

Google has recently announced that they are working of a new 'smart braid' technology. By pinching, patting, squeezing, or swiping a fabric cord, users will now be able to control their electronics. Through use of a “helical sensing matrix”, the wires will be able to differentiate between different types of touch, and whether or not the contact it is receiving is a human hand. A series of capacitive and conductive yarns are weaved into the wires which allow this process to occur, and, through machine learning, this technology is believed to offer easier and sleeker control for users of mobile technology.

At its current stages, the wire are still in research, and are able to correctly identify different gestures with around 94 percent accuracy. Whilst this is certainly promising, it is too low an accuracy for commercial selling at this point. However, Google are continuing to research this new technology, and claims that is has a variety of potential uses in the electronics world.

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