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From Google Glass, to smartwatches and even “smart” workout clothes that could measure muscle activity in real-time, we’re now familiar with the array of wearable tech. Joining the ever-increasing list is Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP)’s Project Jacquard. The project’s goal is to turn products to interactive devices using touch-sensitive fabrics. Partnering with Levi Strauss & Co., ATAP is taking its first step of using the technology in a clothing application. Created with the purpose of being able to access a phone and maintain eye contact, the wearer would be able to control nearby devices with simple gestures such as tapping or swiping. According to Project Jacquard’s website, they use new conductive yarns consisting of metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns, making it strong to be woven on any industrial loom.
These yarns can be woven at specific parts on the fabric, or as large sensor grids in larger interactive areas. Jacquard considers this development a “blank canvas” for the fashion industry- designers can use this like any other fabric but with the advantage of better functionality and developers can connect apps to clothing using Jacquard, opening a whole new world with the platform. Another ATAP project is a smart contact lens with a microchip that diabetics can use to read blood sugar levels through their tears. Whether you like it or not, the future is here.