Would you buy touchscreen clothes? Google and Levi’s team up for crazy project

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 5 years ago

With all the hype of wearable technology, Google is taking it a step further: they want to incorporate digital technology into fabric with the announcement of Project Jacquard and a teaming with clothing giant Levi Strauss.

These “interactive textiles” can be woven into any fabric that could eventually allow for touchscreens in suits or on carpets that could perform just about any function you would find on your smartphone, according to a New Zealand Herald report.

During Google’s annual developers conference, the search giant announced the project and the Levi’s partnership. They will create special threads that are stretchable and washable, and basically act like any other fabric.

The fabric could allow clothes to carry data and therefore allow manufacturers to add touch or gesture commands that could be woven in with standard industrial looms. So if you want a shirt where you can simply tap your chest and phone a friend, or control your house’s temperature by stepping on a certain spot on the carpet, this fabric could make that happen.

Wearable electronics has become the latest fad. One of the first instances was the unveiling of Google Glass, a huge project that was aimed at replacing standard glasses with an accessory that would allow the person to take video and view other data with a screen that is always in front of their eyes. Most recently, the Apple Watch has burst onto the scene, attempting to resurrect an accessory that has fallen by the wayside now that smartphones have made them virtually obsolete. Apple is hoping the popularity of touchscreens will make its Watch fashionable again.

But there have been setbacks in the wearables market, with the Google Glass project eventually shelved and Apple Watch still yet to prove that it can be a success. However, the Google/Levi’s teaming certainly shows that tech companies view wearables as the future.