This afternoon, I found a very interesting article on the potential of smart interactive clothing, a new project launched by Google. The article can be found here:
What I learnt:
- The aim is to turn our clothes into a hi-tech smart interface
- The project is being led by Ivan Poupyrev, Technical Program Lead at Google, and she aims to make interactive clothing a reality
- They have managed to construct a conductive yarn (a yarn that conducts electricity.)
- Conducting yarns are used to manufacture carpets and other items that dissipate static electricity, such as work clothes in highly flammable environments, like in the petrochemistry (composition and formation of rocks) industry.
- Google has found a way to use conductive yarn in the same looms and machinery currently in our textile industry
- This thread is like the ones in touch-screen enabled gloves, and is available in any colour
- When combined with a small Bluetooth controller, it gives the garment or cloth the ability to connect with other devices and operate like a touch-screen
- So now, we can interact with our gadgets by touching our clothes
- Project Jacquard- its possible to weave touch and gesture using standard, industrial looms
- Still uncertainty in how this technology can be involved in our everyday lives
- However there will be a collaboration with denim brand Levi’s
- Just by tapping and swiping fabric, you can control your devices!
After searching conductive yarns online, I realised that it was available for sale on amazon, not too expensive too. But for my FMP, using conductive yarn would be too difficult, as I am not confident enough to merge electricity into clothing due to health and safety. I believe I can create impressive mechanisms without the use of electric currents too, but I am really excited that Google is actually creating possibilities of interactive garments!