Google and Levi’s connected jacket goes on sale this week

Google and Levi’s have unveiled the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket, which goes on sale on Wednesday for $350.

Some two years in the making, the connected apparel is the first commercial product that uses the touch-sensitive fabric developed as part of Google’s Project Jacquard. First announced at Google’s I/O conference last year, the denim jacket was originally set to lauch this Spring but ran into delays.

A Bluetooth tag located on the cuff wirelessly connects the conductive yarns in the jacket’s cuff to your mobile device. Remove the tag, and the entire garment is washable and durable – just like regular denim.

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Touching the tag in different ways allows you to send commands to your smartphone while on the go. For example, you can ask for directions, answer calls and control music playback, all with your phone safely tucked away. You also get notifications for incoming calls via haptic feedback and light.

The gestures on the jacket cuff are fully re-configurable using the accompanying smartphone app. The plan is to expand functionality by eventually allowing third party developers access to the platform.

The whole thing is powered by a small rechargeable battery that clips onto the inside of sleeve. It has a life of around two days on a single charge.

“It was a long road but what’s really impressive, is the entire journey, we stayed true to our vision and what we wanted to achieve,” said Ivan Poupyrev, project lead for Project Jacquard at Google.

“This jacket is going to be sold as a piece of apparel, that was always the vision from the very beginning.”

At $350, the connected garment is a little pricey for the functionality it offers. But this project may be more about proving a concept than generating large sales.

To find out more or pre-order in men’s and women’s sizes, head over to Levi’s.

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