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ATAP’s Project Jacquard Weaves Electronics Into Fabric

May 28, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

A couple of weeks ago when the Google I/O 2015 schedule went live, it was discovered that Google Advanced Technology and Projects division was going to be announcing some interesting stuff having to do with wearables, mentioning that what they had to showcase would literally blow your socks off. It turns out one of those projects is called Project Jacquard, which aims to weave electronics into fabric, essentially creating a wearable out of normal clothing. ATAP had this set up at the event to display how something like this might work, with their example being a set of music controls which had been programmed into the electronic infused fabric that would control the volume, pause/play, and cycling through tracks just by tapping or swiping on the fabric. So now, imagine having your music controls on a long sleeve or short sleeve active t-shirt as you run, allowing you to control your music without having to touch your device or the Bluetooth headset connected to it.

ATAP’s example is just one of possibly many things which could be done using technology like this, but music controls was likely a fairly easy application to display for everybody to interact with. Even with Project Jacquard in a working state, ATAP doesn’t make any guarantees that consumers will ever see Jacquard embedded products, but there is also the chance that if this technology takes off it could evolve into something similar with a more refined and diverse set of uses with a completely different name, so even if Jacquard never makes it to market, the evolution of Jacquard certainly could.

Clothing with Jacquard electronics woven in would feel and look just like normal clothing as they would be basically the same as other clothes, save for the surface where the controls are woven in, and just like normal clothes the textiles with the electronics woven in could be cut like normal cloth, and washed and treated like normal laundry. That means no worrying about damage from placing things in the wash. ATAP is said to be officially announcing Project Jacquard tomorrow which is when the website will also go live for anyone to interact with it.