The Google-Levi's tieup has resulted in a jacket with a smart sleeve - just swipe or tap the fabric on the left cuff to control your smart phone.
In a different time, this would have sounded like a sci-fi story of the next century. But technology has covered every aspect of life, with wearable technology having become a fad over the last few years. The latest to join the list is an innovation by tech giant Google in partnership with denim wear market leader Levi’s.
Levi’s commuter truck jacket, a flagship product of the 150-year-old denim company, will now let you do multiple tasks that would otherwise need you to take your phone out of the pocket. The new product is named Levi's Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google.
The Jacquard threads woven into the jacket can understand the gestures of the user. Advantageous mainly to two-wheeler riders and particularly lazy users, Levi’s commuter truck jacket – once connected to the app on your smartphone - will let you start or stop music, get directions, or even read text messages by swiping on the jacket’s sleeve, according to a report in TechCrunch.
The jacket is washable once you remove the tag from the cuff.
Project Jacquard started in 2014 as a platform for designers and apparel companies to integrate connectivity directly into the things you use every day. This particular product was announced more than a year ago.
A report on The Verge says the delay was due to bringing the technology and manufacturing together as well as because jackets – unlike gadgets – go into retail channels in the Fall/Autumn season.
The report adds, “The Jacquard system can automatically tell when you’re wearing the jacket, and it sets up your phone to a kind of biking mode. It reads texts aloud either through the phone itself (which is meant to nestle in a special inside pocket on the left breast) or through your headphones. It can be configured to only allow calls and texts from important people.”
The jacket works with iOS or Android devices, even though it’s from Google.
The Levi’s website adds, “With a quick drag and drop in the Jacquard app, you can customise each gesture with various abilities. You choose if a tap or a brush against the sleeve pauses your music or gives your ETA.”
The jacket will be available Wednesday onwards in select outlets in the US at a price of $350. It will soon also be available on the Levi's website too. (The regular trucker jacket costs less than half this price.)