Levis Jeans collaborates with Google
Google is working with denim maker Levi Strauss to create ‘smart clothing’ allowing the wearer to interact with wearable devices like watches, regardless of how big their fingers and thumbs are.
The research has been carried out by a small Google research team, which specialize in niche projects, called Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP).
The two companies have released a video explaining their special partnership, dubbed Project Jacquard, in honor of the Frenchman who invented a loom. Watch it below.
The core of the innovation is weaving conductive threads into the denim.
“We are enabling interactive textiles,” Emre Karagozler of ATAP said at a briefing presentation in Google’s annual developer conference.
Conductivity can be limited to just a certain part of the clothing item, or across entire cloth. It is flexible and washable.
In a demonstration, users can be seen controlling a computer screen by touching their clothes.
Google says Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms.
Anything involving fabric, from suits or dresses to furniture or carpet, could potentially have computer touch-pad style control capabilities woven.
“Conductive yarn is connected to tiny circuits, no bigger than jacket buttons, with miniaturized electronics that can use algorithms to recognize touches or swipes,” the ATAP team said.