Jacquard By Google: Connected Clothing Makes Accessing Technology Easy For Everyone

Close up of someone holding jacquard between their thumb and finger

Whenever we need information, we reach for our phone. Have you ever wondered if just like our phones, every day objects could help us provide that same experience – touch a jacket sleeve or an arm band and it performs an action for us on our phone? Instead of swiping the touch screen, we swipe the fabric! As sci-fi and unrealistic as it may sound, this technology already exists.

Jacquard by Google takes wearables to the next level by weaving a digital experience into everyday objects we wear, use, and love. The Jacquard is a tiny (half the size of a pack of gum) and discreet yet powerful device that’s hidden in the fabric and interacts with the Jacquard app on the phone. Your interaction, like a simple brush of your cuff, can control music on your phone, announce your next appointment, take a selfie, and do so much more.

Early this year, Google worked with Champions Place, a shared living residence for young adults with disabilities in the Atlanta area. Residents tried the Jacquard Levi’s Commute Trucker Jacket and experienced a simple and unobtrusive way to access technology on the go. For example, making an emergency call for assistance with Jacquard was much more discreet and far less obtrusive than with a device they typically wear around their neck.

Inspired by that experience Google is continuing to make tech accessible for everyone, Google has created a soft, interactive patch/sleeve that allows access to digital experiences with simple gestures. This patch can be worn or placed on any surface, per needs of the individual. Garrison Redd, a powerlifter and advocate in the disability community has been providing input to make this fabric accessible for everyone.

This is an ever evolving technology and Google is constantly making improvements to it. If you had access to Jacquard, how would you use it? Let us know in the comments below!

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