Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced its partnership with Levi Strauss for Project Jacquar, for making smart clothing with touch-pad capabilities. The announcement was made at Google I/O 2015 which aims to make garments interactive along with the high-profile fashion partner.
Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) announced Project Jacquard, and Levi’s as its official partner. The project is named after a French man who invented a type of loom. The interactive garments will include gestures like tapping or swiping that will send a signal to the smartphone to activate a functionality. The gestures can also be used to send text messages or silence the device.
“When it came to choosing a first partner for Project Jaquard, the Levi’s brand was a natural fit,” said Ivan Poupyrev, a technical project lead of Google ATAP.
Poupyrev added that Levi’s is an iconic brand with deep Bay area roots – authenticity and also highly innovative and fashionable. Emre Karagozler of Google ATAP stated that interactive textiles are enabled by weaving conductive threads into fabric. The special threads can be used in a range of fabrics, and can be customized to stand out or go unnoticed based on the design preferences.
Connectivity can be spread across the cloth or can be limited to certain areas. It is stretchable and washable, Karagozler added. The project will allow any fabric, ranging from suits to dresses, furniture to carpet, to have computer touch-pad type capabilities. According to Google ATAP, conductive yarn will be connected to tiny circuits, no bigger than jacket buttons that will include miniaturized electronics for using algorithms, and to recognize gestures.
Levi Strauss head of global product innovation Paul Dillinger stated that the two companies embarking upon Project Jacquard delivers an entirely new value to consumers with apparel that is “emotional, aspirational and functional.”[ Source ]