Google's Project Jacquard wants to put a trackpad on your pants

The ATAP division of Google is known for some the most innovative ideas to come out of Silicon Valley. It's the home of the Project Ara modular phone and Project Tango. So it's no surprise to find that Project Jacquard has a large single piece of fabric with conductive yarn woven in that works like a trackpad. The Jacquard team said that more information about its technology would be revealed at tomorrow's ATAP session, but it already looks promising.

The Jacquard loom can weave regular and conductive fabric into a single piece of textile. On the demo table at I/O, the conductive squares on the larger piece of fabric were used to turn lights on, control a media player, and power two touch-tracking setups that visualized the interaction. The conductive surface uses low-power Wi-Fi to communicate with devices. While the demo was on a flat surface, the additional electronics needed to power and connect the fabric to a device are not quite ready to be sewn into your pants. The team is still working on shrinking those components down to integrate with its loom. But once they do, you might be swiping your next jacket to control smartphone.