Katia Vega has already worked with eyelashes and conductive makeup to trigger drones. Now she is taking things undercover with touch sensitive hair extensions, according to Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World. Sounds weird, but it’s great if you want to control something without bringing attention to the action–just touch your hair.
Normally, while someone touches her own hair, unconsciously she is bringing comfort to herself and at the same time is emitting a non-verbal message decodable by an observer. However, when she touches on Hairware, she is not just making this unconscious behaviour because she will be triggering an object,” Vega writes. “Thus, we add new functionalities to hair extensions, turning them into a seamless device that recognizes auto-contact behaviors concealed to outside observers.
Katia’s Hairware, uses metalized hair pieces in combination with non-conductive hair pieces. That’s how she is able to keep the pieces from shorting on the skin. When used with bluetooth, it’s possible to do many smartphone functions. Check out her video for a demo.
I’ve been very intrigued by Katia’s work because she’s thinking about the everyday movements that can be used as triggers, so it’s working from the human side first. Most companies create a product starting with an object that they must transform to be people friendly. I suspect we will be seeing more and more need for people trained in user centered design as the path of wearables continues.
So, would you like to learn about capacitive sensing? Check out our 5 Pad Capacitive Touch Sensor Breakout Board. This is an easy way to create up to five touch switches in your project. Just hook up some power and some wires or conductive material and you are ready to go. No microcontroller needed, so its easy peasy.
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