Google is set to collaborate with jeans retailer Levi Strauss to design “smart” clothes for its tech savvy customers. The two companies aim to create a pair of jeans which will enable consumers to perform certain actions on their smart phones. Google announced the project during its annual input/output developer conference in San Francisco on Friday.
The partnership is part of a bigger initiative that is being conducted by Google called “Project Jacquard”. The project features a type of smart yarn that will allow textile manufacturers to create electronic clothing. Although the internet giant is not the first to work on the creation of clothes that can connect to our phones, it appears that the common type of thread that Google are creating would make it easier to produce such merchandise.
"We are enabling interactive textiles," said Emre Karagozler of Google ATAP in a report by CTV News.
"When it came to choosing a first partner for Project Jaquard, the Levi's brand was a natural fit," said Ivan Poupyrev, Google ATAP's Technical Project Lead.
Further, Paul Dillinger, Levi Straus's Head of Global Product Innovation commented "In our hyper-digital world, people constantly struggle to be physically present in their environment while maintaining a digital connection. The work that Google and Levi's are embarking upon with Project Jacquard delivers an entirely new value to consumers with apparel that is emotional, aspirational and functional".
Jacquard yarns are touch-sensitive and will operate to create garments that are interactive, featuring gestures like swiping and tapping that will forward signals to smartphones and devices to perform various functions. These capabilities include the sending of text messages and making of phone calls.
Google affirmed that this is only the beginning, designers and developers will be creating apps that are specifically tailored to these types of smart clothing. Google’s long-term goal is to link the wearable material to virtually any device available.