At Google’s I/O developers conference last week, its Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) Group announced that it was working on several exciting projects and one of them was Project Jacquard. Project Jacquard is all about weaving digital technology into the fabric that goes into your clothes.
Project Jacquard is named after a 19th century loom which revolutionized the textile manufacturing process by using digital punchcards for programming complex patterns. Google’s Project Jacquard has developed conductive yarn that is strong enough to be woven into fabrics for making clothing and upholstery. The conductive yarn is attached via connectors to tiny circuits that are embedded in the garment and give it a sensitivity to touch and gestures, measure body temperature, heart rate and much more. The data captured through the fabric is transmitted wirelessly to smartphones or other devices.
The conductive yarn could be made into any color and can be easily woven into fabric in standard industrial looms. The Jacquard yarn makes the surface of the fabric interactive. It is made with a combination of thin metal alloys and polyester, cotton or silk yarns and looks like any other normal yarn used to make fabrics.
“Jacquard is a blank canvas for the fashion industry,” says Google on its Project Jacquard 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 has partnered with Levi Strauss creator of Levi jeans for creation of the conductive yarn. As the website says, “Project Jacquard will allow designers and developers to build connected, touch-sensitive textiles into their own products.”
You can get more idea about Project Jacquard by watching the videos below: