Internet of things (IoT) technology is developing incredibly fast, with the latest wearable tech innovation planned for market being clothing that can interact with our smartphones and alert phones to the fact we have put on weight!
We have Google and Levi to thank for this latest development in innovative clothing. They have teamed up to work on ‘Project Jacquard’ and bring to market a whole new concept of wearable technology.
The search-engine and clothing manufacturer have already developed fabric which has smart technology integrated into it. Developers at Google have been working with a textiles firm in Japan in order to develop these sensor fibres and enable them to be interlaced into as many different textiles as possible.
Project Jacquard founder and Technical Program Lead at Google’s ATAP, Ivan Poupyrev explains the issues of creating this new yarn, stating the challenge: “was to create yarn that is highly conductive and at the same time scalable, which means it could be used on industrial weaving machines everywhere in the world.”
However, until released onto market, we will just have to wait in suspense to see exactly how far this technology will go and exactly how it will work, although the companies themselves may not have fully developed the concept just yet.
Speaking about the idea, Paul Dillinger, Vice-President of Innovation for Levi said: “This isn’t a launch, it’s a platforming opportunity. It becomes a home to new forms and applications we haven’t thought of yet. The potential is that the input is the gesture – crossing your legs, swiping, saving, lifting.”
The idea of smart sensors being incorporated into clothing may confuse potential wears, although this is something that Grant Hughes, founder of software development company FocusMotion wishes to address. He explains how the sensors are so thin that they would not be able to be felt by wearers.
Commenting on the sensor’s function, Hughes states the sensors would be able to “alert the wearer to weight gain” as well as possibly even, “recommend a workout or provide a discount at a gym or yoga class…”. He emphasised the idea could help people to live healthier lives.
As with most other IoT items, the items of clothing would be able to connect to other nearby connected devices, such as a nearby tablet, iPhone or possibly, in time, even a fridge…!
The Levi’s brand already has huge rates of customer satisfaction in terms of fit, functionality and comfort so this new technology will no doubt look to continue raising these rates. Google have stated that they expect to be able to release their new wearable tech onto the market by autumn 2016 and with the technology already so far developed, this timescale is more than likely to be accurate.