Is That Google In Your Pants?

Google’s Project Jacquard is tackling the age old gap between controlling your electronic device and touching yourself. They are doing this by weaving conductive thread into clothing in the form of a touch pad. In partnership with Levi Strauss & Co., Google has been designing and producing touch interfaces that are meant to be used by developers however they see fit.

touch-sensitive-jeans-thumbThe approach that Project Jacquard has taken from a hardware standpoint is on point. Rather than having an end user product in mind and design completely towards that goal, the project is focused on the interface as its product. This has the added benefit of endless varieties of textile interface possibilities. As stated in the video embedded after the break, the conductive touch interface can be designed as a visibly noticeable difference in material or seamlessly woven into a garment.

As awesome as this new interface may seem there are some things to consider:

  • Can an unintentional brush with another person “sleeve dial” your boss or mother-in-law?
  • What are the implications of Google putting sensors in your jeans?
  • At what point is haptic feedback inappropriate? and do we have to pay extra for that?

We’ve covered e-textiles before from a conductive thread and thru hole components approach to electro-mechanical implementations.

15 thoughts on “Is That Google In Your Pants?

    1. Most of the time, no. everything so far in wearable electronics has to be removed to wash it, and even the conductive thread deteriorates fast after a few washings. its why a lot of commercial things like heated clothing will let you velcro or zip out to remove the controls and heating section for washing. touch switches are more fad than anything else, you can easily put micro dome switches on a thin board that goes under the cloth or velcros on under regular embroidery for durability.

    1. seriosuly though, arent we doing phrasing anymore?

      on another note, for wearables i think we have to include the human in the circuit (i know that technically most touch tech falls into this category), but if one had a known unique sine signal and actually ran that across the skin of the person (they are wearing the gadget to begin with), then one could “encrypt” against accidental touches.

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