On the second day of Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, one of its secretive research arm announced an intriguing project that hopes to create conductive fabrics that can be entwined into everyday clothing. The project called Project Jacquard, is named after French inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard who revolutionized textile manufacturing and ushered in for modern computing with Jacquard Loom.
Similar to screens on mobile phones, these conductive fabrics can register the user’s touch and transmit the information somewhere else, like a tablet or a smartphone. The fabrics are made from conductive yarns that come in diverse colors and can bear up the clothing manufacturing process. According to a Google news release on the same, the fabrics can be “woven into textiles on the same looms that are used to make traditional fabrics.”
Google Mat Turn Shirt into a Computer
Google has also announced its partnership with Levi Strauss. Both the companies are working on making interactive garments that would enable wearers to send text to someone by a simply swipe of the cloth. The technology would be integrated into an apparel line in 2016. The companies have not yet divulged any information on the kind of clothes of how much it would cost.
Google’s Project Jacquard is one of the several new projects to come of Google’s Advanced Technologies and Product’s lap. Project Soli is another project by Google ATAP, on using tiny radars into detecting fine motions like finger movements and hand gestures which could possible allow the user to manipulate any digital interface in vicinity. Ivan Poupyrev, a Google researchers demonstrated the advancements made into the project by rubbing his fingers in the air, making a bead-sized ball on the screen respond to his gestures.
Google’s X lab explores the boundaries of impossible “moonshot” projects, such as self-driving cars, and drone to deliver goods. Google ATAP is a similar concept, the only difference between the two wings is that any project by Google’ X Lab takes up to 10 to 20 years to come into fruition, while ATAP’s efforts could reach the market in 2 to 5 ye2 to 5 years. ATAP’s head Regina Dugan, previously served as the director of the Defense Advanced Research Project’s Agency.