With Google's Project Jacquard set to be available to the masses next year through Levi's smart commuter denim jacket, US and Korea based startup Impressivo hopes it can get in on a piece of the smart clothing action as well with an alternative it's calling faiv.
Like Google, it follows a similar method of making connected garments by weaving sensors into fabric to build touch and gesture sensitive areas into a range of materials. The aim is to offer many of the same functionalities that Jacquard can to control your mobile without reaching into your pocket.
Read this: The biggest benefits of smart clothing
Before you scream Jacquard clone, there is one big difference with Impressivo's approach and that's the decision to use resistive sensors as opposed to the capacitive ones used in Jacquard to detect pressure. What that means is that it can support multitouch gestures, which means it'll register multiple interactions at the same time. It's also working on adding similar haptic interactions to offer an additional type of feedback to users.
Speaking to Impressivo's CEO David Ahn at Web Summit 2016 in Lisbon, Ahn told us that there has been talks with companies to integrate the tech into sports clothing however he didn't reveal any names. He also talked up the potential of the Impressivo faiv tech being built into military clothing.
Currently faiv is still at the working prototype stage, with Ahn and his team to continue development through to next year. There's also plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign in 2017.
It might have a tall order competing with Google who is already working with big companies in this space including Levi's and has also demonstrated Jacquard being used to make a smart jacket by a Saville Row tailor.
We'll be keeping a close eye on developments with Impressivo to see if Google really does have a rival on its hands.
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