From the very first touch, Jacquard feels familiar. That’s because our focus has always been to add a new layer of connectivity and interactivity to things you already know, love, and use every day. By starting with raw materials, such as yarns and textiles, we found ways to provide unprecedented access to the digital world through items that aren’t typically considered to be technology. So your most beloved items – a favorite jacket, a pair of shoes, the bag you take everywhere – will keep you connected to your digital life in new, seamless ways.
Jacquard is the first full scale digital platform created for smart clothing. It streamlines the way you access services and information by putting it right into the materials you already wear and use. Using touch gestures, you can access different abilities, such as getting directions or skipping to the next song. With Jacquard abilities you can easily interact with the digital world without disrupting what’s going on in your real one.
The Jacquard platform offers an entirely new experience. Clothing can now understand various touch gestures, activate digital services, and respond with light and haptic feedback.
Jacquard is designed with real world purpose in mind. For the Levi’s jacket, we considered what gestures and abilities made the most sense for urban commuters. Each element of the experience is carefully considered and tested to make sure that using this new platform is purposeful and natural. Designed to be extendable, Jacquard can support all sorts of future interactions and use cases.
Our approach of weaving interactivity into everyday objects is grounded in making technology even more personal. That’s why we made Jacquard gestures and abilities customizable. You have control over what gestures you want to use for which services, as well as the kind of feedback you want.
Once you’ve set up your Jacquard-enabled garment, you can access online services, apps, and information without reaching for your phone. With a simple brush of your cuff, you can now get your next direction or skip to the next track on your playlist. As the use cases for the Jacquard platform expand, so do the variety of services to which you can connect.
Connectivity is made possible through Jacquard Threads and embedded electronics. The conductive metal alloys used are incredibly thin, so they can be combined with a variety of natural and synthetic fibers. Once spun, Jacquard Threads have the weight and feel of normal yarn. Because they look, feel and perform like any other yarn, they can be woven using traditional techniques and equipment. The result is a wide variety of interactive textiles that are indistinguishable from regular textiles.
Jacquard textiles are created to be an integral part of an overall product design process, allowing for highly reliable integration with embedded electronics. And, of course, you can wash them just like any of your other clothes.
With a vision of combining the personal and tactile elements of textiles with the immediacy and flexibility of digital services, Ivan Poupyrev joined ATAP in January 2014, and began working out the initial concepts behind Project Jacquard.
Different fabrics, raw materials and weaving techniques were explored. The manufacturing of the earliest Jacquard Threads and textiles began in factories in Japan in 2015.
At the 2015 I/O conference we were excited to present Project Jacquard and announce that we were teaming up with Levi’s to create the first Jacquard-enabled garment.
After many trials and errors, we developed a complete supply chain to produce the first-ever batch of Jacquard-enabled Levi’s jackets. This was a game-changer for Jacquard as it signified the turning point from prototype to real-life product.
In early 2016 we began diving into Jacquard app development. The app lets users customize the garment by assigning abilities to gestures. Hundreds of hours went into user research to understand what would be most useful to urban commuters. From there, we refined the functionality of the jacket and the app to accommodate their unique needs.
The first product incorporating the Jacquard platform – Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket – was debuted during a demonstration on-stage at Google IO 2016.
In mid-2016 Jacquard was awarded the Cannes Grand Prix for Product Design. Jury president Amina Horozic said, “I feel like it can enable and empower us to make a better world, a safer world and a world that we want to live in… It’s not just fabric. It’s the future.”
In early September 2016 the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket was acquired by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum for their permanent collection as part of the history of American Design. Alongside the jacket, the museum acquired samples of materials, early prototypes and drawings that made the product possible.
On September 27, 2017 the Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker jacket with Jacquard by Google was put on sale. This was one of many firsts for Levi’s, but a particularly exciting moment for the Jacquard team.