With smartwatches becoming increasingly common in today’s world, Google have teamed up with Levi to bring the latest in wearable tech. The Jacquard commuter smart-jacket is the next revolution in hands free technology and designed for every-day commuters. The smart-jacket features an interactive sleeve on the left side of the jacket, controlled by a small Bluetooth clip-on chip. This chip can be controlled by a small variety of actions such as double tapping, holding down and swiping. Once attached to the sleeve, the chip connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone to relay the information between the phone and the smart-jacket – it should be noted, however, that the Google Jacquard app is also required to use the functionality.
The smart-jacket features an array of controls including Audio (play, pause, skip, and integrated noise cancelling control), Navigation (visited locations, estimated arrival times, current directions), and Alerts (texts, calls, recommended leaving times) that are all interfaced by the simple touch gestures.
The project was born at Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group in combination with several partner companies such as Levi, Bose, Uber, and Lyft. The RRP for the Jacket is $350 and will come with the smart-jacket and 1x Snap-on Clip, the battery for which should last around 2 weeks.
One downside to this woven-in technology, however, is the lack of sustainability. As disclosed on the Levi website, this smart-jacket is only able to withstand up to 10 washes – depending on the wash conditions – after which, the built-in technology will begin to lack responsiveness.
This concept is setting a new precedent in wearable technology and gives a glimpse into what the future potentially holds in this area. Look out for even more designs, increased functionality, and better integration over the coming years!