Smart jackets coming this fall from Google and Levi’s


Smart jackets are coming … just not as soon as originally planned.

And if you want one, be prepared to shell out $350.

Those are the latest updates from a partnership between Levi’s and Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects lab, according to The Verge. The project’s leaders announced the news on stage at this year’s South by Southwest music, film and tech festival in Austin, Texas.

The high-tech piece of outerwear is part of Project Jacquard, an initiative launched in 2015 by Levi’s and Google that seeks to weave the internet into clothing.

As the first piece of clothing to come out of that partnership, the jacket will let you interact with your smartphone by tapping your sleeve. Levi’s says it’s perfect for people like bicyclists, who want to change their music, ignore calls from their boss and get directions while in the middle of a ride. A video on the company’s website shows a cyclist biking through traffic while using the jacket.

The key is a tag in the jacket that wirelessly connects your smartphone to the conductive yarns woven into the cuff, allowing you to use your sleeve to send signals to your phone. Take the tag out, and the jacket is washable, according to the Levi’s website.

“Over time additional features will be added to further make this jacket your co-pilot for life, on or off your bike,” the company promises.

If the prospect of connected clothing excites you, one day you might be able to have an entire smart outfit. Remember the Google Hat the internet giant got a patent for last month?

But apparently it’s taking longer than the Levi’s and Google team leaders thought it would to perfect their existing jacket technology.

The jacket’s debut, initially planned for this spring, has been pushed back until fall, according to The Verge.



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