We present an radio-frequency (RF)-based approach to gesture detection and recognition, using e-textile versions of common transmission lines used in microwave circuits. This approach allows for easy fabrication of input swatches that can detect a continuum of finger positions and similarly basic gestures, using a single measurement line. We demonstrate that the swatches can perform gesture detection when under thin layers of cloth or when weatherproofed, providing a high level of versatility not present with other types of approaches. Additionally, using small convolutional neural networks, low-level gestures can be identified with a high level of accuracy using a small, inexpensive microcontroller, allowing for an intelligent fabric that reports only gestures of interest, rather than a simple sensor requiring constant surveillance from an external computing device. The resulting e-textile smart composite has applications in controlling wearable devices by providing a simple, eyes-free mechanism to input simple gestures.
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