This is an information getting us very excited! Remember the Google Project Jacquard everyone’s been talking about last year? Well during this year’s Google I/O (their developers conference) Levi’s and Google announced the jacket would be shipping “soon”.
weaving touch & interactivity into fabrics
Project Jacquard is the revolution making it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms. How? By weaving conductive yarns Google created in collaboration with industrial specialists. The 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.
95% accuracy after 30 000 scrubs!
Before starting any industrial production, Google was reported last month to having tested the quality of the Jacquard fabrics. The engineers in the ATAP team used the KUKA robotic arm, in order to scrub the fabric again and again. After ten hours and more than 12 000 scrubs, the fabric still recognized 95% of the robot’s gestures! So the Jacquard fabric is 95% reliable, which would represent approximatively three years and 200 days, considering you would be scrubbing your garment 200 times a day. They actually pushed the test a step further, adding on a tour of 30 000 scrubs. And well, it still recognized 95% of the gestures. But these were tested with a robotic arm, so the team added that with human gestures, the fabric would be recognizing “only” 77%. Which is actually huge, considering this technology (electronic woven into fabrics at an industrial scale) is something completely new.
the levi’s commuter jacket gets its innovation twist
The Levi’s innovation team and Google teams joined forces to create a modern version of denim that is interactive and yet authentic, remaining true to the century-old tradition of denim manufacturing. They first started with the iconic Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket.
The Jacquard technology woven into the jacket will be allowing its users to control their mobile experience and connect to a variety of services, such as music or maps, directly from the jacket.
The digital connectivity is provided through a smart tag that houses all the necessary electronics, and apart from this detachable tag, the whole interactive garment is washable and durable like regular denim.
Shipping officially in “Spring 2017”, the first batch of the smart jackets will arrive as a beta test this fall. We’ll still have to wait for more information, as price and availability have not been disclosed yet.
Post written by Noémie Balmat, Founding editor-in-chief
Interested in the future of fashion through technology & innovation, Noémie has a valuable three-year experience in international advertising agencies and works with young innovative designers as a fashion tech freelance consultant. Currently working for Soon Soon Soon as an Innovation consultant, she launched Clausette Magazine in November 2014 to gather cool projects linking fashion & innovation in one place. Sensitive to the technological and scientific evolutions, she takes part in several Fashion Tech weeks and events as a speaker (Who’s Next, WEAREABLE by Showroom Privé, FashionTech Days…).