Ever since the smartphone became a device that no one can (or wants to) live without, combining the adjective “smart” before another word indicates that a certain product is connected to the internet in some fashion. And speaking of smart and fashion (what a segue), two companies that you couldn’t dream of working together in a million years are teaming up. Google and Levi’s will be launching the smart denim jacket this fall, priced at $350 for both men and women.
The intelligent clothing uses Google’s Project Jacquard, which was introduced at last year’s Google I/O. The project’s main task is to take everyday items that you usually would not consider high tech, like clothing, and give them some form of interactive capabilities. The goal is to allow us to garner information from our smartphones without having to look at them quite so often. And yeah, that sounds like the raison d’être for using a smartwatch, but again, the items used in this project are not normally tech oriented.
At SXSW (yes, the annual event is now underway), the smart denim jacket made an appearance. Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket, as it is called, uses Bluetooth to sync with a smartphone. Those wearing the smart denim jacket will tap or swipe on the left cuff similar to how you might navigate a device using a touch pad. Those unfamiliar with the product might think that you are having a seizure or that you suffer from Tourette’s syndrome. But fiddling with the left cuff will allow you to answer a call or play music. And the accompanying app will allow those wearing the jacket to customize gestures. The battery that is placed inside the left sleeve offers two days of power, and can be charged.
Check out the pair of videos that you will find below. One shows how a bicyclist can use the jacket to get directions and listen to a personalized music mix while pedaling down the road. The second video shows the manufacturing of the interactive fabric used in the jacket.