Internet of things headed for your pants?Reprints
The next big thing in wearable tech may just be your pants.
Google Inc. has partnered with denim designer Levi Strauss & Co. to create touch-sensitive jeans capable of interacting with mobile devices — lending a whole new meaning to the term, “smarty pants,” according to media reports.
In a venture aptly titled Project Jacquard after 19th century looms, which was unveiled at Google's annual developer conference in May, the tech giant is working on weaving conductive yarns laced with sensors through textiles, allowing those fabrics to operate like touch screens while maintaining the appearance of normal clothing.
And the conductive fabric will be scalable, so the clothing can be manufactured through industrial weaving machines to make larger quantities.
According to business and tech news site wired.com, Google also has a series of apps and services in the works that will allow you to interact with your phone and other devices by grabbing, tapping, swiping, and touching your clothes.
“The structure of textiles is the same as the structure of touch screens which we're using in everyday mobile devices and tablets,” Project Jacquard founder Ivan Poupyrev said in a video for the project's unveiling. “That means that if you replace some of the threads in textiles with conductive threads, you should be able to weave the textile which can recognize a variety of simple touch gestures.”
“Software development and fashion design often don't exist in the same place, so we're hoping to make it very simple for each of those parties to collaborate,” the project's design leader Carsten Schwesig said in the video.
Though there's no word regarding when smart Levi's will hit the market, the future of computerized clothing is near.