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.
By Ivan Poupyrev, Director of Engineering, Google ATAP