It was only a matter of time and Google, of course, have the headstart in making our clothing smart. Yes – you read that right. Google’s Advance Technology and Projects department have announced Project Jacquard. Project Jacquard is a connected fabric with the ability to turn your wardrobe into wearable technology.
You can imagine the amount of years it’s taken the technology giant to develop wires that can double as fabric yarn. Add to this the fabric would still need to be practical and withstand heat from irons and the wear and tear from washing machines. Ivan Poupyrev, the technical program lead for Google ATAP says, “The structure of textiles is the same as the structure of the touchscreens built into phones and other mobile devices.” He continues, “If you replace some of the threads in textiles with conductive threads, you should be able to weave the textile into something that can recognize a variety of simple touch gestures.”
Features could include being able to adjust the volume of your devices or answer your phone via touch sensitive areas woven into the clothing. Sounds like something from the future right? Not necessarily as Levis Strass have revealed that they will be the first clothing manufacturer to use the technology developed by Project Jacquard. On the collaboration Poupyrev says, “When it came to choosing a first partner for Project Jacquard, the Levi’s brand was a natural fit…Levi’s is an iconic brand with deep Bay area roots — authentic and also highly innovative and fashionable. Levi’s brings to Jacquard their deep knowledge and understanding of apparel, their consumers and what they value.”
Google have thrown down the gauntlet and the race to make our clothing the next interface has begun.