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Control a smartphone “remotely” with touch? I / O Braid wants to make the idea a reality

Google is developing new ways for users to interact with electronic equipment. After including the Motion Sense technology from Project Soli on Pixel 4, the Mountain View giant is testing I / O Braid: a cable made with smart fabric that allows you to control a gadget, such as a smartphone, from a distance through sequences of touches.

The company explains that the cable uses a technology called helical sensing matrix to record the orders of those using it. The I / O Braid is composed of a series of sensitive conductive wires that are able to identify the different types of touches. The cable also includes optical fiber wires that light up depending on the type of interaction.

How Google I / O Braid works How Google I / O Braid works credits: Google

Behind the I / O Braid is an artificial intelligence that allows to distinguish different sequences or types of touches. The AI ​​has a database collected through experiments with volunteers. Google says the technology can make distinctions with 94% accuracy.

For now, the I / O Braid project is still in the initial development phase. However, Google indicates that the technology can be easily integrated into a variety of electronic products. For example, I / O Braid can be used to control smart speakers or included in a piece of clothing, allowing the user to connect it to the smartphone and define what he wants to hear.

How Google I / O Braid works How Google I / O Braid works credits: Google

Smart fabrics are not new to Google. In the 2016 edition of I / O, the company presented the Jacquard Jacket: a denim jacket with a sensor that allows you to control various mobile applications.

The piece was born from a collaboration with Levis in 2015. At first glance the coat is similar to so many others made by Levi's, but through a pulse sensor designed to look like a button, it is possible to get directions directly from the navigation applications, control the music or answer and reject calls with a predefined sequence of rings.