Last May, when Google ATAP announced Project Jacquard and Levi’s as its first official partner for the initiative, the components that allow fabric to connect to mobile devices were not yet ready to be sewn into clothing. Fast forward one year to Google I/O 2016, and the partnership, whose goal has been to take wearable technology to the next level, reached a new milestone when they unveiled Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket—the first wearable item from the collaboration.
Jacquard, the technology used to make the jacket, “makes garments interactive — simple gestures like tapping or swiping send a wireless signal to the wearer’s mobile device and activate functionality, such as silencing phone calls or sending a text message,” according to an article published on the Levi Strauss & Co. website.
The jacket, (which was designed with cyclists in mind) is made from denim and woven with conductive threads that track swipes and taps directly from the sleeve. So subtle you barely notice it, the video demonstrates additional features, including: riding directions, querying nearby places to dine and access to music playlists.
A Bloomberg article explains how the technology components of the jacket are two-fold: “The metal-based conductive fibers are fully washable and sewed into the denim, and a button-sized piece of removable hardware called the “smart tag” allows the jacket to connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.”
Ready for this wearable technology?
Most of us will have a to wait until next year when Levi’s debuts the jacket in its Spring 2017 collection—available in stores and online. By next spring, we can likely expect new developments in the design and technology when it’s ready for market. We know this is only the beginning of what we can expect from partnerships like these, so it will be interesting to see how technology and design will be adopted into women’s fashion and what other brands seize the opportunity to fuse this facet of technology with fashion—Nike, Under Armour, Lulu Lemon? All of which would have been, perhaps, obvious choices from the start, but moves like these will definitely keep consumers guessing about who’s next.
We would love to hear from you—what brand do you think will make the next best strategic partner for Google’s wearable technology?