Tag Archives: ATAP

Try it on: Connected clothing that helps everyone

Jacquard by Google aims to simplify your digital life by turning everyday things, like sneakers and jackets, into intuitive interfaces. A connected jacket with woven Jacquard technology lets people connect to their smartphone and use simple gestures to trigger functions from the Jacquard app. With this interactivity and connectivity built in, you can tap your sleeve to hear directions to your next destination or brush your cuff to change the song playing on your compatible music service. Jacquard technology works for phones running Android 6.0.1 or newer and iOS 11 or newer.

As a team, we’re motivated to understand how connected garment technology can provide access to digital services in situations where traditional mobile devices are difficult or inconvenient to use. As part of that goal, we started a series of research projects to explore and discover how Jacquard technology can help people with disabilities live more independent lives. 

We worked with Champions Place, a shared living residence for young adults with disabilities in the greater Atlanta area. Residents at Champions Place tried out the Jacquard Levi’s ® Commuter Trucker Jacket and let us know how a connected garment could be even more helpful to each of them. 

We discovered that for the residents at Champions Place a connected jacket gave them 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. 

Once technology becomes part of the things you wear every day, fashion choices become as important as function. One resident trying out the Jacquard connected jackets admitted, “I am not necessarily a jean jacket person. I am thinking it will be useful that I can have a band that can be slipped on, underneath different sleeves or jackets, that way it is not tied to one piece clothing.” It’s feedback like that, that helps us to explore design solutions that people want to wear. We learned that fashion style and form factors, like a smart jacket or connected patch, matter, and one solution doesn’t fit all. 

Our work with Champions Place has just started. So far, the feedback has helped us envision how technology like Jacquard can help people live more independent lives without sacrificing style. Enhancing everyday objects with digital functionalities can lead to products that are helpful, comfortable, easy-to-use and stylish for everyone — including people with disabilities.

Learn more about Jacquard by Google.   

Make your everyday smarter with Jacquard

Technology is most helpful when it’s frictionless. That is why we believe that computing should power experiences through the everyday things around you—an idea we call “ambient computing.” That’s why we developed the Jacquard platform to deliver ambient computing in a familiar, natural way: By building it into things you wear, love and use every day. 

The heart of Jacquard is the Jacquard Tag, a tiny computer built to make everyday items more helpful. We first used this on the sleeve of a jacket so that it could recognize the gestures of the person wearing it, and we built that same technology into the Cit-E backpack with Saint Laurent. Then, we collaborated with Adidas and EA on our GMR shoe insert, enabling its wearers to combine real-life play with the EA SPORTS FIFA mobile game. 

Whether it’s touch or movement-based, the tag can interpret different inputs customized for the garments and gear we’ve collaborated with brands to create. And now we’re sharing that two new backpacks, developed with Samsonite, will integrate Jacquard technology. A fine addition to our collection, the Konnect-I Backpack comes in two styles: Slim ($199) and Standard ($219).



While they might look like regular backpacks, the left strap unlocks tons of capabilities. Using your Jacquard app, you can customize what gestures control which actions—for instance, you can program Jacquard to deliver call and text notifications, trigger a selfie, control your music or prompt Google Assistant to share the latest news. For an added level of interaction, the LED light on your left strap will light up according to the alerts you've set.

This is only the beginning for the Jacquard platform, and thanks to updates, you can expect your Jacquard Tag gear to get better over time. Just like Google wants to make the world's information universally accessible and useful, we at Jacquard want to help people access information through everyday items and natural movements.

Make your everyday smarter with Jacquard

Technology is most helpful when it’s frictionless. That is why we believe that computing should power experiences through the everyday things around you—an idea we call “ambient computing.” That’s why we developed the Jacquard platform to deliver ambient computing in a familiar, natural way: By building it into things you wear, love and use every day. 

The heart of Jacquard is the Jacquard Tag, a tiny computer built to make everyday items more helpful. We first used this on the sleeve of a jacket so that it could recognize the gestures of the person wearing it, and we built that same technology into the Cit-E backpack with Saint Laurent. Then, we collaborated with Adidas and EA on our GMR shoe insert, enabling its wearers to combine real-life play with the EA SPORTS FIFA mobile game. 

Whether it’s touch or movement-based, the tag can interpret different inputs customized for the garments and gear we’ve collaborated with brands to create. And now we’re sharing that two new backpacks, developed with Samsonite, will integrate Jacquard technology. A fine addition to our collection, the Konnect-I Backpack comes in two styles: Slim ($199) and Standard ($219).



While they might look like regular backpacks, the left strap unlocks tons of capabilities. Using your Jacquard app, you can customize what gestures control which actions—for instance, you can program Jacquard to deliver call and text notifications, trigger a selfie, control your music or prompt Google Assistant to share the latest news. For an added level of interaction, the LED light on your left strap will light up according to the alerts you've set.

This is only the beginning for the Jacquard platform, and thanks to updates, you can expect your Jacquard Tag gear to get better over time. Just like Google wants to make the world's information universally accessible and useful, we at Jacquard want to help people access information through everyday items and natural movements.

Jacquard and Google Arts and Culture weave tech into art

Words that appear out of white tapestries. Music that streams out of black fabric. A mysterious blue cloth-draped spiral that guides you with light and sound.

It may sound like a fantasy novel, but these are real works of art made possible with Jacquard by Google. Combining advanced hardware and software technology with textile and manufacturing know-how, Jacquard helps designers make digital experiences out of everyday objects. An ordinary denim jacket or a backpack transforms into something that answers calls, plays music and takes photos. 

In March, Jacquard (part of Google ATAP) and Google Arts & Culture created an artists in residency program to bring together technology, art and fashion. It was a unique opportunity for creative communities to enhance their work digitally—by weaving Jacquard technology into physical installations—while remaining focused on their original design.

We received more than 200 fascinating project ideas from artists, collectives and technologists all over the world. Chloé Bensahel, Amor Muñoz and OMA Space were selected to turn their proposals into monumental installations. Over the past six months, they collaborated with Google ATAP and Google Arts & Culture Lab engineers to deploy Jacquard technology within the hallowed exhibition rooms of Paris’s Mobilier national, a historic mainstay of furniture and textile manufacturing. Two of the installations were even produced in collaboration with the Mobilier national’s own weaving and pleating experts.

The result is “Please Touch the Thread,” a multisensory exhibition that triggers sounds and light effects when you touch the art. “Tree of Light” by OMA Space is a ten-meter-wide meditative walk. Bensahel’s “Words Wear Worlds” is an ensemble of seven tapestries that took 840 hours of weaving to create. Muñoz’s “Notes & Folds” is a tribute to the works of mathematician Ada Lovelace and composer Conlon Nancarrow. 

Touching, tapping or skimming the art corresponds to hundreds of different combinations, and each visitor has a different experience of the exhibit. Press one letter of Bensahel's tapestry, and you’ll hear that letter being sung. Swipe over a word, and you’ll hear that instead. The volume goes up or down depending on the strength of your touch.

The exhibition is open to the public from October 16th to 20th, during the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC), but will also live on digitally on Google Arts & Culture. Online visitors can navigate through 3D models of the installations and dig deeper into each artist’s creative process through exclusive video content.

A smarter wardrobe with Jacquard by Google

With the rapid evolution of computing, in one generation’s time we’ve seen computers shrink from room-sized devices accessible to few to something anyone can own and hold in their hand. And with the evolution of cloud and AI we’ve reached a significant new milestone. Computing can now go beyond specialized devices and start providing digital experiences through everyday things around you—an idea we call “ambient computing.”

That’s the vision behind Jacquard by Google. We want everyone to have easy access to various digital functionalities through their everyday, ordinary things. Thanks to ambient computing, those things can be much more helpful while remaining true to their original purpose—like being your favorite jacket, backpack or a pair of shoes that you love to wear.

The first early adopter of the Jacquard platform was Levi's®. Today, we’re sharing our latest work with their team—the Levi's® Trucker and Sherpa Jackets with Jacquard by Google. Offered in both men’s and women’s sizes across six countries (Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.K. and U.S.), this collaboration merges the iconic style of Levi’s® with ambient computing technology to enhance your everyday experiences.

Levis Jacquard ATAP.jpg

These jackets include significant updates to the Jacquard platform, which we’ve updated to support a growing number of partners and garments. The most recent product based on this updated platform is the connected backpack by Saint Laurent, Cit-E backpack with Jacquard technology, which we announced in August.

The central piece of the updated Jacquard platform is our new Jacquard Tag—which is smaller than a stick of gum and has a battery life of up to two weeks, and which makes Jacquard technology even more unobtrusive in these new connected products. The tag connects to our newly re-designed Jacquard app and allows you to personalize your Jacquard-enabled wardrobe to do what you would like it to do.

Jacquard-Tag-Hero.png

We have a long and growing list of abilities that can be accessed through your connected garment including music control, navigation, Always Together, and various alerts, such as a text message or rideshare alerts. In September, we updated Jacquard with a Camera ability and new Google Assistant features that make it easier for you to create highly customizable experiences. With “My Day,” you can get current updates on traffic, local weather, news and more. And with “Ask Assistant,” you can create your own Jacquard ability. So whether you want to control your smart home, get updates on the latest basketball score or just check what your commute looks like before you head out—you can program Jacquard to do all this (and much more!) with a simple gesture.

Jacquard-Abilities-MyDay.png

With Jacquard, we want to help you access your digital life through the garments and products you use every day. We see technology as an ingredient for making ordinary things better and more helpful—not turning them into gadgets—and we made Jacquard easy to implement so partners like Levi's and Saint Laurent can bring this vision to life. There’s lots more to come.

More than just a jacket: Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket powered by Jacquard technology

Whether you're cycling to work or juggling a cup of coffee, it's often difficult to pull out your phone, unlock it and answer an incoming call, read a text or skip a music track.

To help you to control your digital life while navigating your real one, Google ATAP (Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group) developed Jacquard—a connected apparel platform that allows fashion designers and apparel manufacturers to integrate connectivity and interactivity into clothes. And the first product that incorporates Jacquard—the Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket—will go on sale Wednesday.

The first thing to know about the Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket with Jacquard is just that: it's a jacket. Like any regular denim jacket, you can wash it (just remove the snap tag), it's durable, designed to be comfortable for cycling and it’ll keep you warm on and off the bike. With Jacquard technology, you can perform common digital tasks—like starting or stopping music, getting directions or reading incoming text messages—by simply swiping or tapping the jacket sleeve.

Jacquard1
Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google

The technology that makes this possible is embedded in the jacket. Gesture-sensing Jacquard Threads are woven into the cuff and wirelessly connected to your mobile phone using tiny electronics embedded inside the sleeve and a flexible snap tag. The snap tag also notifies you about incoming phone calls or text messages¹ with light and haptic feedback. The gestures on the jacket cuff are fully re-configurable: using the Jacquard app you can assign gestures to invoke different digital “abilities” that were designed specifically for an on-the-go lifestyle:

  • Play or pause your music, skip to the next track, or ask what song is playing².

  • Get your next direction, ETA, or the current time.

  • Receive updates on incoming call or texts with a subtle LED light and a vibration on your sleeve, and have the text message read to you.

Jacquard2
Configure the gesture by tapping it, select an ability from the carousel, and assign the ability to a gesture by dragging and dropping.

The Levi's® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google is available for purchase Wednesday in select shops. Next week, it will be available in the US online at www.levi.com and at select Levi’s stores.

We’re excited for Jacquard to be out in the world, and look forward to seeing how connectivity and interactivity can dress up the rest of your closet.


1. For Android, you need a supported phone running Android 6.0.1 or newer. To check if your Android phone is supported go to jacquard.com/levi/specs. For iOS, you need an iPhone 6 or newer running iOS 10 or newer. Features vary between iOS and Android. Requires a Google account, an internet connection, and a cellular plan for calls and texts. Fees may apply.

2.  Not compatible with some music services. Go to g.co/jacquard/music for info. Subscriptions and fees may apply.

The making of “Pearl”

Spotlight Stories' “Pearl” follows a father and daughter as they travel the country in their beloved hatchback, chasing their dreams. Created and produced as an interactive VR experience, a 360 video, and a theatrical short film, “Pearl” premiered last summer at the TriBeCa film festival, and is nominated this year for an Oscar for best animated short film.

With the Oscars just a few days away, we asked Director Patrick Osborne, Producer David Eisenmann, Music and Sound Creative Director Scot Stafford, and Technical Art Lead Cassidy Curtis to reflect on the journey of “Pearl.” You can watch “Pearl” on the YouTube app, on Daydream through the YouTube VR app, on the Google Spotlight Stories app for iOS and Android, or on HTC Vive.

Patrick Osborne, Director

My father is an artist and has worked as a toy designer. He loved to draw. He sacrificed a lot, as most parents do, in order to provide the best life for me and my brothers. One of those sacrifices was choosing family over career. “Pearl” was inspired by our relationship. Parents give us much more than material things—they give us taste, passion, their time. The time I spent drawing with my dad as a kid set up a foundation for the career I have today.

Pearl_2

I think of “Pearl” as a folk-roadtrip-VR-musical. In 360 and VR, you’re creating a film without the constraint of borders, edges or a frame or control over timing.  That means the story is happening all around you, and the audience is free to look anywhere at any time. As a director, giving that control to the audience was a scary prospect.

I had to figure out how to tell a story that spanned decades without the typical editing cuts you experience in a traditional film, which make it easy to understand that time has passed. In order to tell this story the way I had envisioned it, I had to truncate time and transport the audience from scene to scene. I made the car the focal point of the story, used the car’s windows to frame and compose shots, and put the audience in the passenger seat.

David Eisenmann, Producer

Pearl is a single story made for several mediums at once: as a 2D theatrical film, a 360º interactive story, and fully immersive VR. All of these versions were built from the same core of story, animation, sound and music, yet to make the best possible version for each medium, we had to make different choices along the way. For example, the rhythm of editing from shot to shot was much quicker in 2D than in VR, with almost twice as many cuts between scenes. We used each medium’s strengths to help the others: to create the 2D version, Patrick actually “shot” the scenes in 360, using the mobile phone as a camera. Editor Stevan Riley assembled the film from this footage, much as he would do with one of his documentaries.

The result is a rare opportunity to see how one filmmaker tells the same story in all these different mediums. While the VR version feels like being there in the passenger seat with the characters, the theatrical version is more like watching their home movies. Different forms of intimacy, but they all bring you closer to these characters’ lives. 

Patrick Osborne, Director

As a fan of modern folk and Americana trends in music, I jumped at the chance to wrap the story in a song. "No Wrong Way Home" perfectly complements the visual style of the film, and the lyrics and imagery leave room for the audience to see and hear a little bit of themselves in our story.

Scot Stafford, Music and Sound Creative Director

Patrick wanted the story to evolve through music and for the song to be passed from father to daughter, along with the car. After an extensive search for songwriters, he chose Alexis Harte and JJ Wiesler for their sketch that contained the refrain, “there’s no wrong way home.”  It matched perfectly with Patrick’s vision and his early sketches.

Pearl_3
JJ Wiesler, Scot Stafford, Karen Dufilho, and Patrick Osborne in the studio

With the lyrics of the song in hand, we brought in Nicki Bluhm and Kelley Stoltz to perform it. To make it sound as authentic as possible, they recorded wherever the father and daughter sang or spoke in the video—in the car, on the sidewalk, in a park, and on the radio. The song carries the story but the sound design carries the experience, so it was important to get these details right. Through sound effects and foley (reproduction of everyday sounds that add realistic background noises to a film), we tried to make the audience feel like they were really inside the car with these characters.

Pearl_4
Kelley Stoltz recording in the car

Cassidy Curtis, Technical Art Lead

Patrick’s vision for “Pearl” was that every prop, environment, and change in lighting would play a role in the narrative. This “story everywhere you look” approach meant that we’d have to create a huge number of assets, so their design needed to be relatively simple. We also knew that simplicity would help us engage the audience: it’s easier to empathize with less detailed characters. Production designer Tuna Bora created paintings that established the film’s visual style: a kind of “polygon impressionism” made of simplified shapes, with rich, expressive color palettes to convey the changing moods and seasons.

My job was to equip our team of digital artists with the tools to animate in this style. To do it, we had to think like painters. In a typical film or game, artists build objects, texture them, and let the computer illuminate them with realistic lights, which indirectly produce a color image. For “Pearl,” we turned that process upside down: we worked directly on final colors, using custom palettes for each scene. Instead of digital lights, we hand-crafted appealing shadow shapes and soft gradations of color. We roughened the edges, added blooms of light, and a final dusting of film grain to tie these elements together.

“Pearl” is just five minutes and 39 seconds long, but it’s packed with 14 characters, 26 different scenes and 38 shots. And with multiple versions of the film, it took a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes magic to bring “Pearl” to life. Watch it now from our Spotlight Stories channel on the YouTube app, on Daydream through the YouTube VR app, on the Google Spotlight Stories app for iOS and Android, or on HTC Vive.

The making of “Pearl”

Spotlight Stories' “Pearl” follows a father and daughter as they travel the country in their beloved hatchback, chasing their dreams. Created and produced as an interactive VR experience, a 360 video, and a theatrical short film, “Pearl” premiered last summer at the TriBeCa film festival, and is nominated this year for an Oscar for best animated short film.

With the Oscars just a few days away, we asked Director Patrick Osborne, Producer David Eisenmann, Music and Sound Creative Director Scot Stafford, and Technical Art Lead Cassidy Curtis to reflect on the journey of “Pearl.” You can watch “Pearl” on the YouTube app, on Daydream through the YouTube VR app, on the Google Spotlight Stories app for iOS and Android, or on HTC Vive.

Patrick Osborne, Director

My father is an artist and has worked as a toy designer. He loved to draw. He sacrificed a lot, as most parents do, in order to provide the best life for me and my brothers. One of those sacrifices was choosing family over career. “Pearl” was inspired by our relationship. Parents give us much more than material things—they give us taste, passion, their time. The time I spent drawing with my dad as a kid set up a foundation for the career I have today.

Pearl_2

I think of “Pearl” as a folk-roadtrip-VR-musical. In 360 and VR, you’re creating a film without the constraint of borders, edges or a frame or control over timing.  That means the story is happening all around you, and the audience is free to look anywhere at any time. As a director, giving that control to the audience was a scary prospect.

I had to figure out how to tell a story that spanned decades without the typical editing cuts you experience in a traditional film, which make it easy to understand that time has passed. In order to tell this story the way I had envisioned it, I had to truncate time and transport the audience from scene to scene. I made the car the focal point of the story, used the car’s windows to frame and compose shots, and put the audience in the passenger seat.

David Eisenmann, Producer

Pearl is a single story made for several mediums at once: as a 2D theatrical film, a 360º interactive story, and fully immersive VR. All of these versions were built from the same core of story, animation, sound and music, yet to make the best possible version for each medium, we had to make different choices along the way. For example, the rhythm of editing from shot to shot was much quicker in 2D than in VR, with almost twice as many cuts between scenes. Working with Evil Eye Pictures, we used each medium’s strengths to help the others: to create the 2D version, Patrick actually “shot” the scenes in 360, using the mobile phone as a camera. Editor Stevan Riley assembled the film from this footage, much as he would do with one of his documentaries.

The result is a rare opportunity to see how one filmmaker tells the same story in all these different mediums. While the VR version feels like being there in the passenger seat with the characters, the theatrical version is more like watching their home movies. Different forms of intimacy, but they all bring you closer to these characters’ lives. 

Patrick Osborne, Director

As a fan of modern folk and Americana trends in music, I jumped at the chance to wrap the story in a song. "No Wrong Way Home" perfectly complements the visual style of the film, and the lyrics and imagery leave room for the audience to see and hear a little bit of themselves in our story.

Scot Stafford, Music and Sound Creative Director

Patrick wanted the story to evolve through music and for the song to be passed from father to daughter, along with the car. After an extensive search for songwriters, he chose Alexis Harte and JJ Wiesler for their sketch that contained the refrain, “there’s no wrong way home.”  It matched perfectly with Patrick’s vision and his early sketches.

Pearl_3
JJ Wiesler, Scot Stafford, Karen Dufilho, and Patrick Osborne in the studio

With the lyrics of the song in hand, we brought in Nicki Bluhm and Kelley Stoltz to perform it. To make it sound as authentic as possible, they recorded wherever the father and daughter sang or spoke in the video—in the car, on the sidewalk, in a park, and on the radio. The song carries the story but the sound design carries the experience, so it was important to get these details right. Through sound effects and foley (reproduction of everyday sounds that add realistic background noises to a film), we tried to make the audience feel like they were really inside the car with these characters.

Pearl_4
Kelley Stoltz recording in the car

Cassidy Curtis, Technical Art Lead

Patrick’s vision for “Pearl” was that every prop, environment, and change in lighting would play a role in the narrative. This “story everywhere you look” approach meant that we’d have to create a huge number of assets, so their design needed to be relatively simple. We also knew that simplicity would help us engage the audience: it’s easier to empathize with less detailed characters. Production designer Tuna Bora created paintings that established the film’s visual style: a kind of “polygon impressionism” made of simplified shapes, with rich, expressive color palettes to convey the changing moods and seasons.

My job was to equip our team of digital artists with the tools to animate in this style. To do it, we had to think like painters. In a typical film or game, artists build objects, texture them, and let the computer illuminate them with realistic lights, which indirectly produce a color image. For “Pearl,” we turned that process upside down: we worked directly on final colors, using custom palettes for each scene. Instead of digital lights, we hand-crafted appealing shadow shapes and soft gradations of color. We roughened the edges, added blooms of light, and a final dusting of film grain to tie these elements together.

“Pearl” is just five minutes and 39 seconds long, but it’s packed with 14 characters, 26 different scenes and 38 shots. And with multiple versions of the film, it took a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes magic to bring “Pearl” to life. Watch it now from our Spotlight Stories channel on the YouTube app, on Daydream through the YouTube VR app, on the Google Spotlight Stories app for iOS and Android, or on HTC Vive.