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Google just unveiled a way to make smart clothing

by Jacob Kleinman | May 29, 2015May 29, 2015 11:00 am PST

Google is already everywhere. It’s in your phone and your computer. It may also lurk inside your car and on your TV as well. The company’s not stopping there though, and on Friday it unveiled a plan to build smart sensors into every piece of clothing on earth.

Project Jacquard, which was developed at Google’s futuristic ATAP lab, is a new way of manufacturing textiles that weaves electronic sensors into the material. The company says it can work in any color, and without adding noticeable bulk. The result is a piece of clothing that connects to your devices and the Internet while responding to physical gestures.

The technology doesn’t respond to complex gestures like pinches and scrolls, but it can register a broad motion. For example, ATAP unveiled a jacket that can turn on your smartphone when you slide your hand down the sleeve. In the future, your necktie might even call an Uber for you as soon as you put it on in the morning.

Project Jacquard isn’t just a futuristic pipe dream, and Google’s already partnered with Levi’s to design its first smart clothing. The clothing company says it already has a few ideas, but it’s hoping developers can help expand the concept even further.

It’s unclear when the first smart clothing using Google’s technology will appear, but the company has big plans for the future. Down the line every piece of clothing may come packing these tiny sensors, though for now we’re just excited to try our first pair of connected bluejeans.

Google Wired

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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