Project Jacquard: The First Smart Jacket You Must Try
Finally, Google and Levi Strauss have the latest wearable tech for you. Last year, Google and Levi Strauss made the big announcement of their Project Jacquard Platform, which the two companies believed would be a leap into the future of wearable technology. The two companies have now revealed what will be their premier product- a commuter jacket that shall have sensors, converting your jacket into a touchscreen of either your smartwatch or smartphone.
Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket will be the debut product after the partnership of the two companies. This jacket is expected to be on sale in 2017 while the beta testing will be towards the end of 2016.
So, how will this jacket work and what makes it special? Here is all you need to know about Levi Commuter Tracker Jacket.
How does it Work?
Smart clothing has been with us for years now. We have smart clothing that integrates sensors on garments, which makes it possible to relay data to a smartphone wirelessly. This has made it possible to relay such information as motion, heart rate and breathing rate. Most of the smart clothing has a data box clipped on the cloth, which completes the connection. So far, we have seen smart clothing from OMSignal, Athos, and Hexoskin.
With Jacquard, the two companies are producing a conductive yarn, which is a combination of yarns and metallic alloys. In the development of the computer jacket, the yarn is being used to create a gesture and touch sensitive sleeve areas of the jacket. The yarns being used to develop the jacket are very identical to the normal yarns, making it hard distinguishing the two. These synthetic yarns, are natural and includes, silk, polyester, and cotton. To complete the connection between the smartphone or smartwatch and the jacket, there is a smart detachable tag, to which the fibers are linked. The smart tag, which is built into the jacket cuff, is removable, and you can connect it direct to a USB connection when you want to charge it.
The commuter jacket, which targets cyclist, shall give the users the ability and power to control their mobile devices, from the jacket. This will give them control over different features, which includes, access to maps and music. This means, when cycling, you will not need to remove your smartphone from your pocket; you have the ability to use it from your jacket sleeve.
Additionally, the user shall control messages, dismiss calls, get directions by double tapping, see nearby places by swiping up, and change the music playing on their smartphone by swiping down. This jacket shall work with Google Play, Google Maps, Strava, and Spotify.
There is also a Jacquard final piece; a smartphone app, which you will use to configure the wearable tech.
Partnering with Levi’s
Google decided to partner with Levi, a popular master tailor, which is seen as a calculated move. Meaning, the company didn’t just want to introduce a different level of interaction on clothing, which no one would wear. Levi is an iconic brand, popular for producing robust, sturdy and denim fabric for decades.
The jacket is built on a trench coat design while the tech is built into the jacket cuff. The other good news is that the jacket is washable. This is a great win for the users, as we expect the user to sweat out when cycling. To clean, just remove the tag and machine-wash it.
You will also love the design, which not only does it make it stylish, but also cycle friendly. The jacket is designed with a longer back, than the front, this means even when cycling when bending, you won’t be showing off a lot. The jacket is also designed to allow arms movements while around the waist the cuffs are tighter.
During Google developer’s session, it was revealed that the jacket will be on sale in spring 2017. However, the exact release date is not yet known. Regarding the price, it is still unknown.
According to Ivan Poupyrev, who works with ATAP technical program, this jacket signifies the Project Jacquard’s start. He says future plans include the development of athletic and business wear with sensors.
What does the Jacquard Technology bring on the Table?
First, this wearable tech is designed to offer convenience and comfort to the user. This is by giving the user the powers to control their smartphone and smartwatches from their jacket. This also adds to the safety of the user, as you don’t have to remove your device from the pockets. While wearable tech adoption has not been performing as expected, it is uncertain how the Jacquard will perform.