At last year’s Google I/O, Google and Levi’s announced Project Jacquard, a collaboration to create a ‘smart fabric’ that can turn any article of clothing internet-connected. This year, the two have announced that the Jacquard jacket will soon be available for sale.
The Jacquard smart jacket looks like your average denim jacket, but will allow wearers to answer phones, access navigation, control music, and more. The conductive fabric is sewn into the arm, and turns the cuff into a swipeable surface you can use to control apps from your jacket. For example, you can swipe to switch between songs or tap to start and stop them.
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Google and Levi’s say the jacket is designed for the commuter, so cyclists can keep their eye on the road and simply tap away at their jacket sleeve to control apps. Whether this is the most optimal way to use apps while you’re commuting is to be determined, but it does give us an interesting glimpse at the direction of smart clothing.
The first batch of the Jacquard jackets will officially ship in spring 2017, but a beta test will arrive this fall. Price and availability have not been disclosed.