A new invention is prepared by Google. Together with Levi’s, the clothing company, it started to work on a smart jacket that could allow people that are wearing it to answer calls and access maps. The device was designed having in mind cyclists’s needs.
The ideas and technology that led to the creation of the smart jacket are joined under the name of Project Jacquard. Its purpose is to make clothes that can perform functions similarly to a smartphone. The company name behind the project is, of course, Google Advanced Technology and Products.
The product has been first introduced to the public during a technology conference in 2016. Their creators say they managed to add touch and gesture interactivity to plan fabrics by using standard yarns only.
Clothes are thus transformed into interactive surfaces. The Commuter will give access to maps, music, and incoming calls.
The science behind this new product involves conductive yarns that were created by Google together with their industrial partners. The Jacquard structures include tiny metallic alloys combined with yarns suck as cotton, silk or polyester.
Through these structures, Google wove sensor grids between the yarns to create the interactive surfaces.
To activate these functions, the user will have to tap or swipe the cuff of the jacket. Underneath the cuff, there is a Jacquard tag connected to haptics and LED. The tag is removable and USB rechargeable.
The main target of this new device is composed of cyclists. The Commuter can offer them access to these features while on the road. Because of this, the cloth was designed so that it would be easy to be washed and water resistant.
The smart jacket is connected to the cloud so that it can manage other compatible apps. As it was designed for cyclists, services supported by other software companies will be accepted – such as Spotify and fitness apps.
Google has plans to partner with other clothing makers to ensure that the Project Jacquard technology is incorporated into more outfits.
The technology is believed to have entered its beta phase. There are good chances that the smart jacket may appear into stores in spring 2017.
Even though Google declares that the Jacquard components are cost-efficient, and the clothing does not need any special equipment to be manufactured, we will only have to wait and see what the price for these smart jackets will be.
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