American clothing company Levi’s have announced a new smart jacket that is built with Google’s Project Jacquard. Dubbed the Commuter, the nifty jean jacket allows the wearer to control their smartphone through a special control panel woven into the fabric of the cuffs.
Introduced last year at Google I/O, Project Jacquard- which is housed at Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) – is essentially an initiative to bring touch and gesture-based sensors into everyday garments. This is done by using conductive fabric which Google calls it the “Jacquard yarn”; and Levi’s Commuter jacket is the first to feature it.
The denim jacket’s cuff has a detachable Jacquard tag embedded underneath that allows wearer to control their smartphone through the jacket. Some of the gesture-based functions were teased in a promo video; notably the ability swipe to get directions from Google Maps and a tap to change audio tracks. Of course, the actions will be configurable from Levi’s mobile.
According to Levi’s, the new jacket is made using their standard manufacturing techniques and can be washed and treated like any other garment. However, users will still need to remove the tag before washing; it is apparently the only part in the jacket which is non washing-machine friendly.
The Levi’s Commuter jacket will be available as a limited beta this fall and will be coming to the masses early next year.