Early this year, Google announced it was going to work along Levi’s to create a smart blue-jean jacket that would allow users to control their phones without making any contact, but with the garment instead. Now, both Google Advanced Technology and Products group’s Project Jacquard and Levi’s announced they jacket will be released on October 2 and available on Levi.com – and other Levi’s stores, of course.
Additionally, a teaser will also be available on Wednesday to let people have the new smart jacket’s experience.
The jacket was firstly targeted to individuals who spend much of their days riding a bike, going from one place to another in a usual-cold weather. It will be “connected” to both iPhones or Androids, and people will control them thanks to the weaving multi-touch sensors involved in the clothing.
The final product is very similar to an average Levi’s blue-jean jacket of $148. However, this one will cost more as it was expected. Levi’s publicly informed that the price of the new smart garment would be of $350.
What makes this new Levi’s Commuter jacket unique is the snap tag on the left sleeve cuff that uses gestures, LEDs and haptic feedback, which allows the users to interact directly with their phones. As the photos of the jacket show, the small device is strategically located, but it also seems to be a little bit visible for the public.
“We’ll learn a lot from this launch, and that’s what we’re most excited about right now,” a Google spokesperson said. “What’s next is right now – we’re going to listen to feedback. From those learnings, we have the opportunity to evolve abilities within the jacket since Jacquard is a platform and to consider the next version of the jacket, or other items.”
Bikers will use their phones without touching it
At Google I/O, both companies showed how people would use the smartphones by just touching the jacket. Users will be able to perform many activities – like handling calls and reading text messages, adjusting the volume, controlling the music, or navigating with Google Maps, just by swiping or tapping on the jacket’s sleeve.
Google said the jacket is composed of tiny electronics embedded into the left sleeve in a snap tag that’s very flexible, which also would be wirelessly connected to bikers. The functions will be controlled by gesture-sensing sensors (“Jacquard Threads”) that also give haptic feedback and illuminate when someone is calling.
All those features are configurable and customize with an app that comes when the Levi’s Commuter jacket is bought.
Due to this is an electronic device, people have to be very careful in front of any dirt that could fall over the jacket. However, not in all parts of it, but just the sleeves. In fact, people also have to stay alert at the moment of washing it. Users will first have to remove the tag to make the clothing washable as any other.
“We wanted to make a garment, not a gadget,” said Ivan Poupyrev, the person in charge of Google’s side of the project.