Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects division, better known as ATAP, was responsible for a handful of eye-catching showstoppers, including the Soli radio system and the wardrobe-oriented Jacquard. Both were announced in 2015 and launched a couple of years later, with Jacquard giving us some of the most unexpected collaborations, including with clothing maker Levi’s and luxury fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent – the former brought us some trendy smart-tracked jackets, while Adidas launched jacquard tags intended for the insoles of football boots. But having remained relatively quiet since these partnerships – apart from the release of two new Jacquard/Levi’s jackets in 2019 – it looks like the end of the project and accompanying companion app is near.
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The latest iteration of the Jacquard app for Android pretty much marks the end of the project. Even if you don’t have the app, it doesn’t seem like a secret what’s new Section in the Play Store that says this much:
This release adds the ability to notify users of future product support updates.
Additionally, opening the app with internet disabled returns the page shown below, while 9to5Google found end-of-life references in the app’s code, including a header from AppShutdown. All of this points to an imminent announcement by Google on the death of Jacquard.
It’s not entirely clear what will happen to customers who have purchased Jacquard-backed jackets or backpacks when the companion app goes to pasture. One Jacquard product, the aforementioned Adidas smart insole for athletes, has a separate app that was updated a month ago, but even its future is now uncertain following that revelation.
Project Jacquard, while less creepy than Google Glass, probably had just as much appeal to the buying public. The feature set was halfway decent, including the ability to be notified by the jacket if you leave your phone behind or control the music on the phone by making a gesture on the jacket. But it seems like Jacquard hasn’t caught fire in the way some would like, and it doesn’t help that Google has been in a scathing mood on anything non-AI like Stadia lately.