Connected clothing from Google’s wearable team makes accessibility easier

Google Jacquard wearable

Jacquard by Google aims to simplify your digital life by turning everyday things, like sneakers and jackets, into intuitive interfaces.

Google has released a connected jacket with woven Jacquard technology that lets people connect to their smartphone and use simple gestures to trigger the Jacquard app’s functions.

Tap on your jacket’s sleeve to hear directions to your next destination, or brush your cuff to change the song playing on your device!

Jacquard technology works for phones running Android 6.0.1 or newer and iOS 11 or newer.

Google’s wearable team uses garment technology to provide access to digital services in situations where traditional mobile devices are difficult or inconvenient to use. 

Google launched a series of research projects to explore how Jacquard technology can help people with disabilities live more independent lives. Google Jacquard wearable

As a part of this project, Google researchers worked with Champions Place, a shared living residence for young adults with disabilities in Atlanta.

A connected jacket provided the residents a simple and unobtrusive way to access technology on the go. For example, many residents at Champions Place commonly rely on emergency call solutions—usually a device worn around the neck that lets them quickly call for assistance. Those who use these devices imagined how the connected garment could be used as a discreet and less obtrusive alternative while blending into their daily lives. 

Connected clothing is becoming an emerging area for many tech companies. Apple has been researching the area as well with different types of yarns and conductive fibers.

Traditional textile makers in Japan have launched new product lines for smart fibers and textiles to turn around their sales. It will be interesting to see companies and wearable makers take advantage of electronic textiles and related technology to offer new products and services in the future.

At the time of writing, there is a Samsonite backpack, Levis Truckers Jacket, and Addidas GMR shoes available that you can purchase and try with Google Jacquard.

Source: Google Jacquard press release

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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