Get ‘smart’ this season with the latest innovation by Google and Levi Strauss. Yes, both the big shots have collaborated and have come up with a ‘smart jacket’, the idea of which was to use a newly designed conductive fabric to allow the garment to send data and power without the need for wires.
The apparel i.e. a $350 denim jacket is branded as ‘Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google’. This is the much-awaited product of a two-year-long collaboration between the two firms, that had its inception in May 2015, solely with the plan of constructing a pair of ‘smart jeans’.
Of course, the plan had its stages of transitions, but the basic had remained the same. This includes the jacquard fabric being integrated into the jacket, allowing the smart features to work.
Further, the jacket also promises certain other features, including a ‘smart tag’, which is basically a smartwatch without any watch. This lights up in various vibrant colors, vibrates while receiving notifications, can be tapped to issue commands, and is the hub of the jacket. Talking of the sleeves, they also quite touch sensitive. It is just a Simple stroking of the arm and the smartphone gets controlled and that is the fancy of Jacquard fabric in action.
John McCarthy, head of product for Google’s Jacquard initiative, regarded that, “I can promise you that the jacket does not break on wash 11 or 12 or 13. Levi’s always encourages on all of their garments, wash when necessary. Frankly, you can take care of it like any other jacket. Wash cold, dry low heat. If you’re able to air dry, that’s always a better thing for the environment.”
Talking of more of the jacket, this is quite an appropriate one for the commuter. Whether the commuter is on a bike or standing on a crowded train, he/she can easily activate its core functionalities (this states allowing the user to control the music, alert him/her to the next turn needed to take on the road, and tell about incoming messages) by setting up a series of touch patterns that correspond to a panel of smart fabric located on the left cuff. A Bluetooth-activated dongle connects the panel to a coordinating app that’s available for both Android and iPhone. These interactions are customizable i.e. the user might brush out to skip a song, or double tap to accept a call because McCarthy “didn’t want to lock down the functionality too much.”
But with this, it is also true that the commuter jacket is not for everyone. So, while planning the next garment, the Jacquard team is planning to depend on the anonymous aggregated data collected from the users.
On this, McCarthy stated that “The thing that I’m most excited about is getting it into more styles. We don’t expect to be creating a one-size-fits-all solution. We wanted to work with Levi’s in particular because we think they do a pretty remarkable job of creating garments that are staples in people’s wardrobe.”