The day has finally come, smart clothing has hit the markets. The Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard is launching next week, and will set you back $350. This is probably an item you never asked for, and have no intention of buying, but it’s one of the first products in what’ll likely be (slowly) expanding category.
Jacquard is Google’s smart-apparel platform, aimed at providing a smart experience to clothing. Their first partnership with Levi’s has resulted in the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket. The jacket comes with Bluetooth, a battery, a processor and an invisible touchscreen on the left arm made from fibers woven into the denim. The device is mostly located on the left cuff (the snap tag), with an LED and a vibration motor too. It can light up and vibrate for incoming notifications.
The jacket pairs to your device like Android Wear does, using the dedicated Jacquard app. You can initiate actions via the touchscreen on it, either with gestures or taps which can be tied to certain functionality. You can also skip songs and count steps. For now the functionality doesn’t extend much further than that.
You’ll need to charge the jacket every few days, which sounds mostly fine. It’s not like you’ll be wearing it all hours of the day and charging it at night shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. It’s mainly aimed at people commuting currently, with an “on-the-go lifestyle”. You can even wash it! Just remove the snap tag on the left cuff and you’re good to go.
Sure, it may all seem a tad underwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be the best, especially not right now. This simply opens the door for other pieces of clothing running Jacquard, with better features or more uses. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and with Google having intentions to expand the platform, can only get even better (or weirder). Smart clothing really sounds out of the ordinary at the moment, but it just may work in a future where it’s more affordable. Though we imagine it’ll bring an entire new level of… privacy concerns…
Google Blog announcing the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket