Google and Levi’s will together bring a new smart connected jacket targetted at bike riders. The jacket is dubbed as a commuter trucker jacket and uses Google’s technology known as Jacquard, which turns fabric into the gesture controlled fabric. The the new commuter jacket, developed by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, will come with a price tag of $350 (approx Rs 23,000) and will be available later in 2017. During the SXSW event in 2017 in Austin, Google and Levi’s announced the release date and price for the connected jacket.
This is the first time that Google’s touch-sensitive fabric developed as part of Project Jacquard and Projects (ATAP) division, is being used in a commercial product. It was first announced in 2015 in a bid to bring the jacket to the market in the Spring of 2017, but the date seems to have further been pushed. Google explained: “Jacquard allows wearers to control their mobile experience and connect to a variety of services, such as music or maps, directly from the jacket. This is especially useful when it might be difficult to use the smartphone, like when you are riding on your bike.”
The new jacket features Bluetooth-powered cufflinks that allow you to swipe fingers in order to send commands to the connected smartphone, which will make it easy to get directions, answer calls, or control the music without having the need to pull the device out of the pocket. The jacket can also be washed like a regular denim jacket, once the tag has been removed.
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The price of the jacket is almost the same as some Android smartwatches in the market. In the product as, we can see a biker answering a call by brushing a sleeve, clearly, the smart jacket is a niche product and might not be ready for the prime time right now.