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R&D
Project Jacquard

Google and Levi´s to make smart clothing interacts with devices


The company´s Advanced Technology and Projects group, known as ATAP, is working on fabric that can sense touch gestures. Using a new kind of conductive yarn and woven multitouch panels, they can turn normal clothes into interactive devices.
Ibercampus 29/6/2015 Send to a friend
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Wearing clothing made from the textiles, you could swipe your hand over the sleeve of a jacket or side of your jeans to silence a phone. Tap a finger to start playing a song.

Called Project Jacquard, the initiative was officially announced at Google´s annual developer conference on Friday. Levi´s is its first official clothing partner, and the two Bay Area companies will start designing and experimenting with smart clothing.

Much like the screens on mobile phones, these fabrics could register the user’s touch and transmit information elsewhere, like to a smartphone or tablet computer. They are made from conductive yarns that come in a rainbow of colors and can withstand the clothing manufacturing process, so “can be woven into textiles on the same looms that are used to make traditional fabrics,” according to a Google news release.

They did not announce a timeline for when any smart clothes would be commercially available, though Levi´s global head of product innovation, Paul Dillinger, said the process would be iterative, fast and fun.

This is not the first time a company has tried to make conductive fabric, but Google is thinking on a global scale. The clothing industry produces 19 billion garments a year, 150-times the number of mobile phones.

Levi´s said smart clothing could help people interact more with the real world around them instead of constantly staring at phones.

On stage, Poupyrev wore a normal seeming beige jacket custom made by tailors in London. The fabric in the jacket was 85% cotton and 15% Project Jacquard. He waved his hand over the arm and a nearby display showed the information being picked up by the electronics.

Teaming up with legitimate fashion designers with an eye towards mass product mean gadgets could quickly become mainstream.

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