Taking technology wearables back to the future, Google ATAP has announced Project Jacquard named after the inventor of the mechanical textile loom first demonstrated in 1801. Google has developed a metal thread which can be woven into fabrics to make them touch sensitive via a microchip the size of a shirt button, sewn into the finished clothing. Levi’s jeans are one of the Project Jacquard partners.
Google isn’t the first to develop conductive yarn, though it is the first to develop yarn suitable for use in existing in industrial scale textile looms. A new frontier for fashion designers is opening up.
The yarn works with a variety of fibres including wool, cotton and silk. So the possibilities are not limited to clothing. Furniture, curtains and carpets might all have much smarter futures.
Personally, I could do with a shirt that corrects my posture or a hair tie that has the ability to call emergency services (just in case). What would you wish for from the Jacquard genie?