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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Google Fabrics

Friday May 29, 2015 Google introduced a new initiatives called Project Soli and Project Jacquard, aimed at reimagining touch gestures for devices and developing smart textiles.

Project Soli is developing a new interaction sensor using radar technology. The sensor can track sub-millimeter motions at high speed and accuracy. It fits onto a chip, can be produced at scale and built into small devices and everyday objects.


Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms.  Everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces.  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.

Learn more about project jacquard at the Google website.

By the way, Google is working with Levi Strauss & Co. on the project jacquard project.  You can learn about project jacquard at the Levi website as well.  At Google I/O 2015, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group unveiled Project Jacquard and named the Levi’s® brand its first official partner. 

The Levi Strauss & Co. innovation story began with the invention of the blue jean 142 years ago, but that was merely the first chapter. From the debut of the first jeans for women in 1934 to the revolutionary work that goes on in their Eureka Innovation Lab today.  Google and Levi’s came together to tackle some of the exciting challenges of wearable technology.  We are certainly interested to see how this project further develops.

In the opinion of Apparel Search, we think Google should have considered a different name for the project.  Jacquard is an existing terms for a type of fabric.  The project can potentially be confused with existing fabrics, production techniques or equipment.  For example, Jacquard FabricJacquard Tapes, Jacquard Loom, Jacquard Machinery etc.

Jacquard is an intricate method of weaving invented by Joseph J.M. Jacquard in the years 1801-1804, in which a headmotion at the top of the loom holds and operates a set of punched cards, according to the motif desired.  The perforations in the cards, in connection with the rods and cords, regulate the raising of the stationary warp thread mechanisms.  Jacquard knitting is a development of the Jacquard loom and its principles.  Jacquard fabrics, simple or elaborate in design, include brocade, brocatelle, damask, neckwear, evening wear, formal attire, some shirtings, tapestries, etc.

Now with Project Jacquard, the term may include smart fabric technology.  We will learn more as the project proceeds.  If you have additional information about Project Jacquard or Project Soli, you are welcome to add your comments in the discussion area below.  Do you think they should have used the term jacquard or come up with a new term?

Learn more about wearable technology and fabric in general here on Apparel Search.

Thank you for taking the time to read our textile industry blog post. We hope that you have found this news to be informative. 

Maybe this means that Google will in the near future qualify as a smart fabric manufacturer.

If you have comments or questions, please add your thoughts.

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