Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) hasdeveloped Jacquard - a connected apparel platform that allows fashion designers and apparel manufacturers to integrate connectivity and interactivity into clothes. The first product that incorporates Jacquard-the Levi's Commuter Trucker Jacket-will go on sale Wednesday.
This is a regular denim jacket, so you can wash it (just remove the snap tag) and it has been designed to be comfortable for cycling and it'll keep you warm on and off the bike. With Jacquard technology, you can perform common digital tasks-like starting or stopping music, getting directions or reading incoming text messages-by swiping or tapping the jacket sleeve.
The technology that makes this possible is embedded in the jacket: Gesture-sensing Jacquard Threads are woven into the cuff and wirelessly connected to your mobile phone using tiny electronics embedded inside the sleeve and a flexible snap tag. The snap tag also notifies you about incoming phone calls or text messages with light and haptic feedback. The gestures on the jacket cuff are fully re-configurable: using the Jacquard app you can assign gestures to invoke different digital "abilities" that were designed specifically for an on-the-go lifestyle:
- Play or pause your music, skip to the next track, or ask what song is playing.
- Get your next direction, ETA, or the current time.
- Receive updates on incoming call or texts with a subtle LED light and a vibration on your sleeve, and have the text message read to you.
The Levi's Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google is available for purchase Wednesday in select shops. Next week, it will be available in the US online at www.levi.com and at select Levi's stores.
As a note, for Android, you need a supported phone running Android 6.0.1 or newer. For iOS, you need an iPhone 6 or newer running iOS 10 or newer.