Ivan Poupyrev and Paul Dillinger come from very different worlds: Poupyrev, a technical program lead for Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) unit, has spent years working on user-interface design and interactive technology, while Dillinger, the head of global product innovation for Levi Strauss & Co., has immersed himself in fashion.
These worlds collided more than a year ago, though, when Levi’s agreed to work with Google on Project Jacquard, an interactive fabric project that Poupyrev heads. It aims to create conductive textiles that can be manufactured like regular fabrics and woven into everything from shirts to teddy bears. The idea is that you’ll then be able to swipe and tap the fabric to do things like control music or get directions.
Right now, Poupyrev and Dillinger are gearing up to roll out the first Jacquard-enabled consumer product that will do these things in 2017: a jean jacket aimed at cycling commuters with conductive thread woven into one arm that connects to a removable, flexible electronic tag (the tag comes off so you can charge its battery and wash the jacket).
"Instead of trying to take something from Levi’s and add our something as an add-on and sell it, we’re actually trying to integrate our technology into the supply chain, the manufacturing chain of the garment industry. So we don’t want to make our own garments. That was the biggest decision made by our team, by me, pretty much, from the very beginning, these fundamental things: we will not make our garments, we will empower industry to make their garments," - Poupyrev said.
Source: MIT Technology Review