Press the shirt button to turn the volume up, touch your pocket to turn the lights on – Project Jacquard wants to make this and other futuristic functions a widespread reality. Google is teaming up with Levi’s and other industrial partners to develop wearable electronics, connecting software development to fashion design and production.
How can they do this? First, clothes are embedded with tiny circuits and other innovative electronics: conductive yarns in precise locations or sensor grids throughout the textile, creating larger interactive surfaces. Next, to control specific functions, intentional touch and gesture data are wirelessly transmitted to mobile phones or different devices.
Indistinguishable from traditional yarns, ‘jacquard yarn structures combine thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns like cotton, polyester or silk, making the yarn strong enough to be woven on any industrial loom,’ the initiative’s website states.
‘In terms of what the technology can do, it’s really up to the user and to the designers, and we expect that users can reconfigure it as much as they want to,’ says the design lead for Project Jacquard, Carsten Schwesig, in the video ‘Welcome to Project Jacquard’.
Find out more about Project Jacquard here.