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Project Jacquard is the latest textile technology developed by tech giant Google in partnership with denim brand Levi’s, featuring a new smart textile jacket designed for bike riders that allows the wearer to control their smartphone by gesture.
According to Google, the Project Jacquard jacket is made of conductive yarn, which is a combination of thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns like cotton, polyester or silk. The jacket also comes with an embedded miniature battery, connectors, electronics, a Bluetooth controller that is capable of capturing signals, touch interactions and gestures via algorithms.
Instead of taking your phone out of your pocket while you are riding on your bike, you can now tap, swipe or hold the cuff of the sleeve on your Project Jacquard jacket to answer the phone, turn music on, ask the time, get directions, read a message, and so on.
“Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms. Everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces”, says Google. “Using conductive yarns, 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.”
The design of this smart jacket is based on an existing Levi’s jacket, the Commuter Trucker, which is a jacket line specifically created for urban cyclists. Levi’s believes that technology that allows wearers to control their mobile experience and connect to a variety of services directly from the jacket is especially useful and makes it much easier to use a smartphone when riding a bike.
Initially revealed in 2015, Google’s textile technology powered Jacquard jacket has finally evolved into a full-fledged product and is ready to be launched in Levi’s stores later this year, with a price of around $350.
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