At last year’s Google I/O, the tech giant and Levis announced that they would be teaming up to produce smart clothing together. Codenamed “Project Jacquard” (ostensibly in honour of the Jacquard loom and weaving process), the smart clothing involves conductive material that is woven into the fabric itself.
At this year’s I/O conference, Google expanded on its plans for smart clothing and showed off the Levis Commuter jacket. This particular piece of technology is designed with bicycle commuters in mind; Google and Levis are thus contributing to a growing number of devices that will allow users to remain connected safely and easily while on the go (for another example, see the TAP keyboard, which is also promoted as being appropriate for cyclists to use).
The Levis Commuter jacket contains interactive, smart material on the left arm, which is in turn connected to a Bluetooth-enabled loop which can be controlled with various taps, swipes, and other gestures. Users will be able to customize the device so that they can use whichever gestures feel most natural for whichever actions they wish the jacket to carry out. The Bluetooth loop is easily removed from the jacket, and then the jacket as a whole can be washed just like any other piece of clothing.
A beta test of the garment will launch this fall, and Levis expects to be officially selling the Commuter jacket by spring of 2017.