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: