Image source: Levi's

Google and Levi’s unveil their next Jacquard smart jacket

Levi’s has integrated Google technology into a new Jacquard connected jacket. This time the brand’s iconic Sherpa and Classic Trucker Jacket are getting tech-enabled.

Essential reading: Moving away from the wrist – the best smart clothing

Announced at Google I/O back in 2014, the first generation of the garment was not just about looking cool. It also provided useful functionality. This was the first commercial product to use touch-sensitive fabric developed as part of Google’s Project Jacquard.

The original $350 Commuter Jacket jacket was released some two years ago. It allows users to send commands to their smartphone while on the go. The jacket uses Bluetooth to connect the conductive yarns in the its cuff and electronic tab to the mobile device. Remove the tag, and the entire garment is washable and durable – just like regular denim.

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Levi’s Trucker Jacket | Image source: Levi’s

The second generation products are more normal looking than the original. This is because the Bluetooth module which slips into the cuff is smaller.

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Levi’s Trucker Jacket | Image source: Levi’s

The other difference is that the companies are using a new method of manufacturing. This does away with the complicated process of integrating the touch-sensitive yarns into the sleeve making the product much less expensive.

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Levi’s Trucker Jacket | Image source: Levi’s

Mind you, all the old functionality is still there. Touching the tag in different ways allows you to send commands to your smartphone while on the go. Users can ask for directions, answer calls, control music playback and more. Wearers also get notifications for incoming calls via haptic feedback and light. All of this is configurable in the accompanying smartphone app.

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Levi’s Sherpa | Image source: Levi’s

The Trucker Jacket will cost $198 when it hits the shops, and the Sherpa Jacket which adds cold weather insulation $248. They come in men’s and women’s sizes and should be more widely available than the original Commuter Jacket.

Google seems to be ramping up its efforts in the connected clothing space. Just last week it announced a high-end rucksack called YSL Cit-e Backpack. This product is also a part of Project Jacquard. Developed in collaboration with Saint Laurent, the rucksack can control music, take pictures and more.

Source: Business Insider

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