Imagine riding a bike through the city and changing the song on your playlist by swiping across your wrist or answering a call by tapping twice. Google and Levi’s are making this vision a reality through their collaborative project, a smart jean jacket which is slated for a 2017 release. The teaming up of the American icon and the tech giant is not as unusual at it may seem. Levi’s has continuously revolutionized the garment industry starting with the first pair of jeans made in the 1800s and more recently, with a line of clothing designed for urban cyclists. Google’s Project Jacquard is one its numerous research and development ventures. It focuses on developing yarns and ultimately materials that provide touch and gesture interactivity, transforming items of clothing, furniture, or ubiquitous objects into interactive surfaces. These conductive yarns are made of metallic alloys blended with yarns used in the clothing industry, from cotton and silk to polyester. They can be woven in smaller sections like a button of a shirt or across a large area; the possibilities are endless. For the first phase of the project, Google and Levi’s have designed a jacket for the urban cyclist.
Part of the Commuter range launched in 2000’s, the jacket offers optimum mobility while riding and plenty of style. A rubber cuff on the wrist connects the wearer to a smartphone and contains a battery that lasts for two days on a full charge. In the future, Google aims to eliminate this step and create garments that connect directly to the cloud. One thing is certain, interacting with portable devices and services is about to become more stylish and convenient than anyone could have imagined just a couple of years ago. Images courtesy of Project Jacquard.