Your hair extensions could save your life. Sound dramatic? Well, it kind of is, but in a mega sexy, super spy, Bond girl kind of way. Hairware is a new wearable technology that allows you to to operate your smartphone via, you guessed it, your hair.
How does it work? The extensions look just like any other extension you can buy at a salon or store. But instead of the average lock, Hairware extensions are plated with a super thin conductive material. When you touch that extension (like you're casually stroking your hair) you change the material's electric charge. That shift in electric charge is picked up by a micro-controller, which then communicates the message to your phone via Bluetooth.
Well, why the hell would I need that, you ask? Let me count the ways. If you find yourself at a party or date gone scary, chances are you won't be able to discreetly send a "come pick me up" text to your best friend. If you're in a truly dangerous situation, exiting quicklyand safely is essential, and picking up your phone to ring the alarm could be the difference between exiting safely and exiting at all. With Hairware, you can immediately and invisibly let someone know you're in trouble. Being able to send a preset emergency text message, or communicating your location to an emergency contact, can now be done with a single stroke of your long tresses.
Further, you can use the extensions to take a selfie, record a conversation, or open an app. Because, of course.
Creator Katia Vega is the beauty technologist and genius behind the product. While women were her first subjects for this type of wearable technology, she doesn't plan on forever leaving men out. Vega plans on implementing similar strategy to a beard technology, allowing men to send messages with a single stroke of their beard.
She told New Scientist , “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. Our next step is to understand male behavior and how they relate to their beards.”
While I don't see men being as keen to using this technology, the value for young women is clear and awesome. I lived alone in college — anything that made me feel safer and connected was well worth the money. But don't get too excited to purchase this product for your daughter, sister, or mom: it's still in the development phase. Vega says she hopes to commercialize the product soon.
I'll be patiently waiting, stroking my now-seemingly-useless hair.