Levi's and Google sew smart fabrics
Project Jacquard sees the tech and apparel giants create touch sensitive microfibres
Googles Advanced Technology And Projects (ATAP) department have teamed up with Levi's to create a denim fabric that can conduct electrical variations in the skin, which means in practice a pair of your 501 straight fit jeans could potentially act like a touch screen connected to a wireless device.
The aim of Project Jacquard is to allow creatives in the fashion and textile industry to work alongside coders and developers, opening up an almost limitless number of applications for smart fabric products. Project Jacquard could be a real game changer for the future of wearable tech, in which rather than having electronics attached to garments, the fabric of the garment itself would be the device.
The conductive yarns that make the fabric ‘smart’ can be utilised in a multitude of ways, creating bespoke touch and gesture-sensitive areas can be woven at precise locations, anywhere on the textile. Alternatively, sensor grids can be woven throughout the textile, creating large, interactive surfaces that could be used to make larger products, like smart furniture and art installations. In addition, the complementary components that allow the fabric to pair with smartphones and computers are engineered to be as discreet as possible, allowing for a seamless interaction between fashion and technology.