google jacquard

Over the years, there have been many interesting ideas about the use of smart textiles/etextiles for architectural applications. But despite the artistic and technical potential, none have really gone anywhere commercially.

Regardless, here is an interesting R+D experiment from Google called Jacquard (already many years old) integrating touch controls into fabrics :

Jacquard is the first full-scale digital technology platform created for smart apparel, footwear, and other everyday essentials. Using advanced hardware, software, unique materials, and textile manufacturing know-how, Jacquard by Google allows our partner brands to integrate connectivity and digital experiences directly into their products.

A new dimension of interaction

From the very first touch, Jacquard feels familiar. That’s because our focus has always been to embed intelligence into everyday things without compromising their original form or function. Using Jacquard Threads, micro-electronics, and intelligent software, we create textiles and materials that can understand your gestures and communicate back using light and haptic feedback. Seamlessly integrated, our technology gives products you already know and understand a new layer of connectivity and interactivity.10 As more products adopt the Jacquard platform, you’ll have new ways to interact with the things you love.

You can find a formal published paper on the project here.