Google Research

I/O Braid: Scalable Touch-Sensitive Lighted Cords Using Spiraling, Repeating Sensing Textiles and Fiber Optics

  • Alex Olwal
  • Jon Moeller
  • Greg Priest-Dorman
  • Thad Starner
  • Ben Carroll
Proceedings of UIST '18 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), ACM, New York, NY, USA (2018), pp. 485-497

Abstract

We introduce I/O Braid, an interactive textile cord with embedded sensing and visual feedback. I/O Braid senses proximity, touch, and twist through a spiraling, repeating braiding topology of touch matrices. This sensing topology is uniquely scalable, requiring only a few sensing lines to cover the whole length of a cord. The same topology allows us to embed fiber optic strands to integrate co-located visual feedback.

We provide an overview of the enabling braiding techniques, design considerations, and approaches to gesture detection. These allow us to derive a set of interaction techniques, which we demonstrate with different form factors and capabilities. Our applications illustrate how I/O Braid can invisibly augment everyday objects, such as touch-sensitive headphones and interactive drawstrings on garments, while enabling discoverability and feedback through embedded light sources.

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