Google ATAP labs have introduced some of the craziest inventions to date like the radar smart watch and smart jeans. With a strict two-year deadline to develop the product, ATAP labs have one of the fastest product development rates and have innovation at the heart progress. Now they are back with another futuristic piece of tech; Touchscreen fabrics!
Google wants to produce conductive yarns that can be weaved to produce touch-enabled garments. The project is named Project Jacquard, and it is being pursued at a rigorous pace. The yarn is made from metallic alloys combined with normal yarn materials to make the hybrid thread strong enough to be used as touch material. There are two ways to use the yarn as a touchscreen. One way involves making patches of the touch-sensing fabric and the other involves incorporating it seamlessly into the general cloth so that it doesn’t appear prominent than the rest of the cloth. Google wants to make the screens on our fabrics and minimize rest of the equipment to make it equal to the size of a button. Then your clothes could be your smartphone/tablet for unlimited use! It is even considered that some solar wafers be introduced that can power the whole arrangement.
There are numerous other uses of the touch system as well. It can be used extensively in the kitchens and homes of the future. Future homes need to be built such that technology is everywhere, but its physical components need to be invisible to the naked eye. The reason being they affect the look of the room and give it an artificial feeling. With this touchscreen cum cloth, you can control the functions of your home-based computers anywhere you want.
Google demonstrated the usefulness of the new tech by controlling Philips Hue lights with the help of the fabric. A tap on the fabric turned the light on. A swipe on one side allowed the user to choose the color scheme that he likes. Swiping up and down changed the brightness of the light itself. When woven into cloth, it would be an easy way to control the lighting especially if it is present almost anywhere int the room. The way the fabric is responding to touch is even better than many laptops in the market right now, so it could eventually make its way to the lucrative industry of laptops too. Overall, this tech will open doors for us that don’t even exist in our imaginations right now.
Now, on a lighter note, this technology will eventually see fabric companies working closely with tech enterprises in a pioneering role. Kalvin Klein and Intel will eventually go into the business, and so will Stone Age and Google. Ah, the IRONY!
Watch the amazing video of the conducting fabrics over here: