IT Fabric is often kicked around in technology meetings as something that defines, underpins or makes up part of an enterprise strategy.  In my world IT fabric is now aligned to the more common use of the work fabric via my rather good looking Levis Google Jacuard that I have had the pleasure of owning and demonstrating for the past month.

I was recently invited to speak at a ForestTECH event in New Zealand and Australia and am always on the lookout for where things are going to engage the audience and found the Google Jacquard.  A quick email to our USA office, some freight forwarding and a couple of weeks later I was in possession of this rather unique product.  At first it seemed a little ‘whatever’ as the current iteration basically only allows you to map gestures such as start or stop music, read out the time, what is my next GPS turn etc. but after wearing it for a while and showing how excellently the fabric responds to touch you suddenly realise this jacket actually changes everything.

To my knowledge this is the first time a multi touch gesture such as swipe or cover has been implemented onto a soft surface.   To date the user interface we are all used to has been a hard glass surface.  Currently the threads are limited to just the left sleeve but for generation one (as bad as it gets) the responsiveness is amazing.  Stepping forward what can we look forward to in what I believe will redefine the term wearable.

  • Connected High Visibility Vest. –  Man down.  Cover an area for 5 seconds and an alert is sent or swipe to log onto a shift or start a process.

  • Karate Ghee – Strike or miss.  No longer a judges call.  The fabric will know.

  • Triathlon suit – measure everything without restrictive (hard) tech getting in the way.

  • Hospital Pyjamas – no more hard tech connected to big machines just soft fabric monitoring vitals.

  • Handbags, car seats, curtains, ski gear the list goes on.

it fabric

Basically the sky is the limit with soft tech and that in my opinion is very exciting.  Good work Google.  A generation 1 product that looks good and highlights just how useful soft tech can and will be in our connected, wearable soft tech lives in the not too distant future.

Using the Levi’s Google Jacquard at ForestTECH 2017

Randall Cameron Levi's Google Jacquard ForestTech 2017