The biggest reveal from last week's Google I/O conference could see people being able to control their computers and devices all from a touch of their jacket.
At last week’s Google I/O conference in San Francisco, the internet giant did the usual over the top display of everything they’ve been working on since the year before.
A new photos app, updates to the Android operating system and some very Google-y stuff.
It was the day after the main keynote that we got a look at the madcap world of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group.
This is the group that has given us the modular phone with Project Ara and the 3D tablet from Project Tango.
However, their latest project might be the most futuristic one they have worked on yet.
Project Jacquard is developing conductive yarn that can be woven into clothing the exact same way as regular yarn and wools.
The project is named from a type of loom from the 19th century that could be programmed to pull off complex designs.
Google is not aiming for whole suits to be made from this new conductive yarn, but for just small patches of it. The yarn can be sewn right into the regular process of making clothes and will be touch sensitive, so you will simply be able to touch a patch on your jacket’s arm to interact with your computer or connected devices.
While this may sound like something from science fiction, Google is making it happen.
Project lead Ivan Poupyrev said that this kind of technology has existed before, but that Google wants to move 'beyond novelty'. "We want to move beyond a single use case,” he said.
The use case will be what’s important with this new project. Google has proved they can do nearly anything they want when it comes to tech, but the application has been lacking sometimes. They’ll have to offer us more than just being able to ignore calls by touching our sleeve.
It seems Google will also be aware of the new industry they’re moving into with this product - the fashion industry. Google will be working with Levi’s to bring Project Jacquard-powered clothing to the market soon.