Google confirms prototyping fabric that can control media playback with pinching or twisting it | HT Tech

Google confirms prototyping fabric that can control media playback with pinching or twisting it

The fabric can be woven into the cord of your headphone or speaker and can control the volume (for instance) by twisting it, pinch to pause/play and double pinch to skip tracks.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: May 20 2020, 16:21 IST
This fabric includes capacitive characteristics that can let a user touch it to control the connected device.
This fabric includes capacitive characteristics that can let a user touch it to control the connected device. (Pixabay)

Google has been working on fusing fabrics with tech and Project Jacquard is one of the prime examples of it. But it looks like the search giant is moving a step ahead this time by integrating audio playback controls to fabrics as well. In a post made on Google AI blog by Alex Olwal, Research Scientist, Google Research, it was confirmed that the firm is prototyping a helical sensing matrix (HSM) using E-textile that includes a braided fabric with "smart threads" woven in it. This fabric includes capacitive characteristics that can let a user touch it to control the connected device.

This means that the fabric can be woven into the cord of your headphone or speaker and can control the volume (for instance) by twisting it, pinch to pause/play and double pinch to skip tracks. The fibre can also be woven to light up when they recognise the touch.

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A scalable interactive E-textile architecture with embedded touch sensing, gesture recognition and visual feedback.
A scalable interactive E-textile architecture with embedded touch sensing, gesture recognition and visual feedback. (Google)
image caption
A scalable interactive E-textile architecture with embedded touch sensing, gesture recognition and visual feedback. (Google)

Google states that this tech is being currently tested with headphone wires, hoodie drawstrings and speaker cord.

“A key insight is that the two axial columns in an HSM that share a common set of electrodes (and color in the diagram of the flattened matrix) are 180-degree opposite each other. Thus, pinching and rolling the cord activates a set of electrodes and allows us to track relative motion across these columns. Rotation detection identifies the current phase with respect to the set of time-varying sinusoidal signals that are offset by 90-degree. The braid allows the user to initiate rotation anywhere, and is scalable with a small set of electrodes,” states the blog post.

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First Published Date: 20 May, 16:21 IST
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