Google and Levi smart jacket available now
The world's first garment to feature Project Jacquard smart technology by Google has made its retail début in partnership with jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co.
The Levi's Commuter Trucker Jacket went on sale yesterday (27 September) at select locations in California, New York and Massachusetts with further availability to follow in select Levi's stores and online.
Project Jacquard, launched in 2014, is an initiative of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group and aims to confront historical limitations of wearable technologies, and create a platform that would allow designers and apparel companies to integrate connectivity directly into the things consumers wear, and use every day.
Aimed at urban cyclists, the jacket will allow wearers to answer phone calls, control maps and listen to music just by touching a sleeve, thanks to Jacquard threads woven into the fabric.
These new conductive yarns that combine thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic fibres like cotton, polyester or silk, can be woven into fabrics on standard industrial looms and designed with bespoke touch and gesture-sensitive areas at precise locations, anywhere on the material.
In the case of the Commuter Trucker Jacket, this is on the left sleeve cuff. The Jacquard threads create an interactive textile that connects with a mobile device, while digital connectivity is provided through the Jacquard snap tag attached to the cuff. The snap tag lets you know about incoming information, like a phone call, by giving you light and haptic feedback. Inspired by a strap that you would see on a cuff, it looks and feels like it's a part of the jacket. The tag also houses the battery which can last up to two weeks between USB charges.
Apart from this detachable tag, the whole interactive garment is washable and durable. It also features articulated shoulders to provide extra room to manoeuvre, reflectors, and a dropped hem to keep the wearer covered while cycling.
Meanwhile, the jacket integrates with the Jacquard app, which allows the wearer to customise the experience - playing or pausing a song or getting an estimated time of arrival at a particular destination. In addition, different abilities can be assigned and reassigned to the gestures the wearer wants to use and whether to be notified by LED and/or haptic feedback.
The Levi's Commuter Trucker Jacket is available now at Fred Segal in Santa Monica, Kinfolk in Brooklyn, and at Concepts in Boston.