Google, Levis to sell smart jacket later this year for bike riders
California, March14:Google has teamed up with Levi’s to make a connected jacket aimed at urban bike riders. Dubbed the Commuter Trucker Jacket, the smart apparel uses Google’s Jacquard technology to turn its fabric into a gesture-controlled fabric. Google and Levi’s announced the release date and price for the connected jacket during SXSW 2017 in Austin.
The connected jacket is the first commercial product that uses the touch-sensitive fabric developed as part of Google’s Project Jacquard and Projects (ATAP) division, and was first announced in 2015. The aim was to bring the jacket to the market in the Spring of 2017, but it seems that the date has been further pushed.
The smart jacket comes fitted with Bluetooth-powered cufflinks that allows users to swipe your fingers to send commands to the companion smartphone, making it easy to get directions, answer calls, or control the music without pulling the phone out of the pocket. Once you remove the tag, the entire jacket is washable – just like a regular denim.
“Jacquard allows wearers to control their mobile experience and connect to a variety of services, such as music or maps, directly from the jacket. This is especially useful when it might be difficult to use the smart phone, like when you are riding on your bike,” explains Google.
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The smart garment will be made available in the fall and will cost $350 (or approx Rs. 23,171). The jacket is similarly priced to some Android smartwatches in the market. The product film shows a biker answering a call by brushing a sleeve, clearly the smart jacket is a niche product and might not be ready for the prime time anytime soon.