Control Your Smartphone by Simply Touching Your Hair

Feeling threatened on a date? Just twist your hair and send a distress message to your best friend. This may sound like an option straight out of a science fiction movie, but it is just one of the high-tech functions of the new Hairware extensions in Brazil.

Hairware is the brainchild of Katia Vega from the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. The extensions use a hair clip switch with a built-in Arduino microcontroller and Bluetooth radio. The hair itself contains conductive filaments that send a signal to a smartphone app paired with the extensions. Touching the hair in a certain way sends a specific message to the phone.

The current version of Hairware is designed with women in mind. If a woman feels threatened, she could touch her hair to send out a location or a message to a friend or family member. She could also use the app to take a selfie or set her phone to record a conversation, all without ever touching her phone.

The video below shows just some of the features Hairware has to offer:

Vega also plans to revamp the extensions for men. “I still need to figure out the design. It could involve connecting a conductive beard to a clip hidden on the back of a shirt collar,” she said. “Our next step is to understand male behavior and how they relate to their beards.”

About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor. Natalie can be contacted at [email protected]