Google’s Project Jacquard first hit the limelight at the company’s I/O 2015 event, showing off a futuristic look at wearable tech which could actually be woven into clothes and furniture. Nearly two years later, the endeavor’s first output finally has a release date and a price tag.
Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket will have the honor of being the first commercial product to weave Jacquard’s technology into its denim fabric. It’ll hit stores in fall 2017 costing a premium $350. The announcement was made at the SXSW festival where Google is showing off a near-final version of the product.
Google’s smart jacket uses conductive yarns that are a blend of metallic alloys and traditional materials like cotton, polyester and silk. They’re connected to tiny circuits and connectors which capture touch gestures and wirelessly transmit them to a connected smartphone.
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As can be seen in the promotional video below, actions could range from changing music to answering or rejecting calls. A biker would simply have to perform these instructions on their wrist where Google’s touch-sensitive material has been placed.
There’s also a Bluetooth Jacquard tag that has to be plugged in and a companion app. Impressively, Google claims that the jacket is machine washable so buyers won’t have to go through an elaborate cleaning ritual to get dirt off. However, they will have to charge the tag since it apparently lasts anywhere from a couple of days to hours depending on usage.
All in all, the Levi Commuter Trucker Jacket basically does what a smartwatch can do right now, but with more margins for error. Google’s planning to expand beyond the coat’s basic skill set and add more abilities in the future.