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The new conductive yarns created in collaboration with Google's industrial partners enable the Project Jacquard to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms.
Jacquard yarn structures combine thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns like cotton, polyester, or silk, making the yarn strong enough to be woven on any industrial loom. Using conductive yarns, bespoke touch and gesture-sensitive areas can be woven at precise locations, anywhere on the textile; even everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces.
Alternatively, sensor grids can be woven throughout the textile, creating large, interactive surfaces.
The complementary components are engineered to be as discreet as possible. We developed innovative techniques to attach the conductive yarns to connectors and tiny circuits, no larger than the button on a jacket. These miniaturized electronics capture touch interactions, and various gestures can be inferred using machine-learning algorithms.
Captured touch and gesture data is wirelessly transmitted to mobile phones or other devices to control a wide range of functions, connecting the user to online services, apps, or phone features.
LEDs, haptics, and other embedded outputs provide feedback to the user, seamlessly connecting them to the digital world.
Producing at scale
Jacquard components are cost-efficient to produce, and the yarns and fabrics can be manufactured with standard equipment used in mills around the world.
One loom can generate as many different textile designs as there are people on the planet. Now that same loom can also weave in interactivity.
Making connected clothing
Connected clothes offer new possibilities for interacting with services, devices, and environments. These interactions can be reconfigured at any time.
Jacquard is a blank canvas for the fashion industry. Designers can use it as they would any fabric, adding new layers of functionality to their designs, without having to learn about electronics.
Developers will be able to connect existing apps and services to Jacquard-enabled clothes and create new features specifically for the platform.
We are also developing custom connectors, electronic components, communication protocols, and an ecosystem of simple applications and cloud services.