ATAP Announces Touch Sensitive Fabric-Project Jacquard

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Google’s ATAP group has been busy today, showing off all their new futuristic projects at I/O. Earlier we told you about Project Soli, which aims to bring miniature radar on a chip to all sorts of devices. Project Jacquard is a similarly ambitious future technology that looks to turn your shirt, pants, or other clothing accessories into a touchpad. Why would you want a touchpad on your shirt or pants?  As an interface with the Internet of Things, of course. The very fact that Google is placing touch capable sensors into fabric is cool enough, but being able to control your entire house would be really freaking awesome!

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From the looks of things the demos at ATAP showed off include swiping on fabric to activate Hue smart lights. A tap turns them on or off. A swipe up or down increases or decreases the brightness. You can swipe horizontally to change the color. The response time is reportedly on par with what we see on a smartphone, tablet, or trackpad on your laptop, which is pretty mind-blowing. Theoretically there are infinite possibilities as the Internet of Things expands to include more appliances and accessories in your home and office. Perhaps Google can combine Project Brillo and Project Jacquard to let your t-shirt control your entire digital life. Typing that last sentence, I felt a little crazy, but this is what Google I/O is all about! Stay tuned for more coverage of what ATAP has been up to today!

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Jeff Springer

"I am currently a researcher and Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. I fell in love with Android with the Nexus One release and realized that it was superior to iOS in all the ways I care about. I still use a Mac (and an iPhone for the camera), but my Apple tech products pale in comparison to my number of Android devices (watches, tablets, and phones). When I’m not rooting/modding one of my many Android phones or doing math/programming, you can find me taking in Phoenix Suns/Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix, and drinking good beer!"