Gerry Farrell: Google Lab’s latest innovation: a jacket that’s a wearable computer

The new Google jacket is basically a wearable PC
The new Google jacket is basically a wearable PC
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It was entirely fitting that on my way to a country as obsessed with the future as China is, I bumped into a pal of mine, Steve Vranakis, the executive creative director of Google Lab.

He was keen to tell me about the lab’s latest innovation: a jacket that is basically a wearable computer.

He was keen to tell me about the lab’s latest innovation: a jacket that is basically a wearable computer.

Called Jacquard, it does all the things your phone can do and more. So if you’re cycling, you just swipe the right sleeve and your music will start to play in your headphones; swipe the left sleeve to set up sat nav and your right sleeve will vibrate when it’s time to turn right and your left sleeve will vibrate when it’s time to turn left. Jacquard’s design team have perfected the idea by finding a way to wind washable, weavable yarn around copper wire. Steve had been all set to bring it with him to show off to the Chinese; in fact he was just stuffing it into his son’s backpack when his wife said “Nooooo! What’s airport security going to think of a jacket full of wires connected to a battery?” Fair point.