Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms. Everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces.
This is possible thanks to new conductive yarns, created in collaboration with our industrial partners. Jacquard yarn structures combine thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns like cotton, polyester, or silk, making the yarn strong enough to be woven on any industrial loom. Jacquard yarns are indistinguishable from the traditional yarns that are used to produce fabrics today.
Jacquard presents a unique material technology that is comprised of both hardware and software innovations. On the hardware side it starts by seamlessly integrating sensing capabilities in textile. It starts with the material science research to be able to embed conductive threads in normal materials like wool, cotton, denim, silk – to a level that it can withstand industrial processes textile through. It also demonstrates the technical engineering feat of developing hardware processes to connect complex grids of conductive thread into microelectronics. On the software side software platform implements firmware for filtering and processing data directly from textile to advanced algorithms for calibration, detection and allowing different aspects of multi touch sensing to happen – profile, movement, direction, pressure, momentum. Down to implementing the protocols for communication between the textile and computing devices.
My role: lead creative technologist and interaction designer for technology development, working closely with project leads Ivan Poupyrev and Carsten Schwesig (Google ATAP) to develop the vision for the product, prototype first technical integrations with computing devices and user experience for touch sensitive fabric. Worked on this project whilst in a full time role at Creative Labs London.