The latest in the growing trends of wearable technology comes from Google’s Project Jacquard. Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms.
Levi Strauss is the first fashion brand to partner with Project Jacquard towards creating new interactive touch-sensitive surfaces.
“Levi’s has always stayed true to our iconic products, while continuing to introduce innovations that address the current challenges of modern life,” said Paul Dillinger, Levi’s head of global product innovation. “In our hyper-digital world, people constantly struggle to be physically present in their environment while maintaining a digital connection. The work that Google and Levi’s are embarking upon with Project Jacquard delivers an entirely new value to consumers with apparel that is emotional, aspirational and functional.”
The way it works is that 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. Jacquard yarns are indistinguishable from the traditional yarns that are used to produce fabrics today. 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. This is another significant step in pairing fashion with technology and opens the door for different types of designers to get creative in new ways.