Menu
This smart fabric from Google can change the music and turn off the lights

This smart fabric from Google can change the music and turn off the lights

Google showed off futuristic smart fabric at its I/O conference in San Francisco

Signage around the booth for Project Jacquard at Google I/O 2015, the company's smart fabric effort.

Signage around the booth for Project Jacquard at Google I/O 2015, the company's smart fabric effort.

Wander around the halls of Google's I/O conference and eventually you'll bump into a large table covered with a blue cloth. But being I/O, this is no ordinary cloth. It's a smart fabric developed by Google's advanced technology group that could one day control your smartphone or the lights in your home.

Called Project Jaquard, it's an experiment that involves weaving electronics into fabric to create the equivalent of a touch screen inside the material. The surface feels like a patch of corduroy, but stroking your fingers up and down or sideways controls nearby electronics.

Google had set up a few demo stations on the table where people could interact with the cloth. One patch allowed you to manipulate a 3D image on a nearby display, while another changed the song on a phone, and yet another controlled the lights overhead.

It's not clear what Google plans to do with the technology, which was developed by its Advanced Technology and Projects group, the division responsible for Project Tango, Google's 3D mapping technology.

But we'll find out more at a session on wearables at I/O on Friday morning. Google says it will show new technology there that will "blow your socks off," so presumably the fabric is destined for wearables you can wear on your body.

A https://www.google.com/atap/project-jacquard/">website for Project Jaquard says virtually noting, but there's some video of an industrial sewing machine weaving fabric, so its possible Google has come up with a way to mass produce cloth with electronics woven inside it. The fabric is currently being woven at mills in the U.S. and Japan, according to a sign near the table at I/O.

Carsten Schwesig, who works on the project and was giving demos, said the technology can be incorporated into virtually any woven fabric. A wall behind the table had pieces of wool and silk hanging from it, suggesting where the technology might end up.

Google and its partners have been working on the technology for roughly a year, Schwesig said. Google says it's built around the idea of "connecting without screens."

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesconsumer electronicsGoogleInternet of ThingsinternetInternet service providers

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments