At last year’s Google I/O, Google and denim clothing maker Levi Strauss announced a partnership to integrate technology with clothing, dubbed Project Jacquard. This Friday, on the final day of Google I/O 2016, the pair announced the first fruits of that collaboration: Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket.
Designed mainly for cyclists, the jacket is made of denim and is woven with special conductive threads in order to track swipes and taps. These taps and swipes are recognized by a smart tag that is attached to the jacket by what appears to be a four pin connector that resembles a four-holed button. The smart tag then collects the tap and swipe information and sends it via Bluetooth to the connected phone.
In the video above, a cyclist is shown using the capacitive area of the jacket along with an LED sensor to receive directions, switch songs, ignore a call, and receive information about nearby places; all without taking his eyes off the road. Google also said that 3rd party developers will be able to create apps that will be able to integrate directly with the Project Jacquard app. This technology should increase the safety of cyclists, and anyone for that matter, who use the jacket’s functionality rather than checking their phone.
This is surely only the first of many exciting collaborations between Google and Levi Strauss, and hopefully we will be able to see more fashion brands incorporate their clothing with Project Jacquard technology. The Commuter Trucker jacket will open up for beta in Fall 2016 and will be released to the public in Spring 2017. No word on pricing just yet.
Are you interested in this or further developments using Project Jacquard? Let us know in the comments.