Google Wants to Make Your Shirt More Like a Smartphone
Google Inc. is getting serious about getting its technology into the fabric of your life —literally.
The Internet company’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, which spends its time on future-looking efforts, is working on Project Jacquard, a set of inventions that makes it possible to weave touch and gesture capabilities into textiles. That could bring us closer to a future when clothing can be used as an extension of our digital lives.
Google's big idea is to bring that technology into the fabric, rather than sewing or gluing an electronic patch to conventional cloth. High-tech conductive yarns can be weaved into fabric using existing industrial looms, allowing for unlimited variation and fashionable designs.
"Jacquard is a blank canvas for the fashion industry," Google said on the project's website. "Designers can use it as they would any fabric, adding new layers of functionality to their designs, without having to learn about electronics."
Google, based in Mountain View, California, is already working with Levi Strauss & Co. on the initiative. Wired took a deeper look at Project Jacquard, including Ivan Poupyrev, its technical program lead.