Google has partnered with Levi to integrate its Jacquard technology into Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket. The result is an interactive denim jacket with smart fibres woven into its sleeve. When the jacket is connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth-powered cufflinks, it allows the wearer to activate connected features with simple gestures such as tapping or brushing the sleeve. For example, a simple brush will give you the time and using two fingers to double tap the sleeve will start or stop music.
Using the interactive jacket, you can use a variety of applications and services such as listening to music, answering calls, or even finding out the time left to arrive at a particular destination, all without having to take the phone out of your pocket.
“What you have is a woven tactical interface integrated into a portion of the cuff material. And all the threads that capture your gestures integrate together and are transferred to this little tag that you just snap on,” said Paul Dillinger, Levi’s head of global product innovation. The detachable smart tag contains all the required electronics and provides the digital connectivity. Once you remove the smart tag, the jacket can be washed and it just as durable as ordinary denim garments.
Google’s Project Jacquard, an initiative of the company’s Advanced Technology and Products wing, was first unveiled in 2015. According to Google, the project will allow designers and developers to build connected, touch-sensitive textiles into their own products.
Ivan Poupyrev, Technical Project Lead at Google said, “Google is to provide our customers access to their favorite services and information from everywhere, anywhere and at any time. Whenever they’re biking or walking or hiking or their hands are busy, they should be able to access services literally from the cuff of their sleeves.”
The jacket is expected to retail at around $350 and will be available beginning fall 2017.