Google and Levi’s are taking wearable tech to its logical conclusion with the introduction of a consumer smart jacket, codenamed ‘Project Jacquard‘.
The Jacket was announced in 2015 but the two household names have only just announced that the jacket will be available later this year for a modest price of £288. Google announced the pricing and release date of Fall 2017 at this year’s SXSW.
The Jacket works through weaving touch and gesture controls into the fabric of the jacket itself which allows users/wearers to answer calls, get directions, and alter music settings without having to remove their phone from their pocket.
The fibres essentially turn the whole jacket into a touch pad which can be controlled via a small tag on the left cuff, which can be removed for recharging. According to Google the battery will last approximately two days, though the company hopes to increase this time.
Additionally, it helps that the jacket is that it actually looks pretty stylish. A lot of wearable tech is cumbersome, clunky, and is often not that much more convenient than a phone. Jacquard technology can also be woven into any fabric meaning that alternative styles will most likely be available in future.
The promotional material for the jacket predominantly shows the jacket in the employ of bike commuters, which makes sense given the impracticality of operating a phone whilst cycling.
The developers of the jacket Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) have not made a commercial product before and the company is still exploring how third party developers will integrate with the platform.
For the most part, Jacquard will assist with the core functions of your phone, and will probably be slightly harder to integrate with iOS due to it being an Android product.
The jacket will be available in a number for different sizes for both men and women.