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By
Fibre2Fashion
Published
May 24, 2016
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First 'smart' jean jacket for urban cyclists

By
Fibre2Fashion
Published
May 24, 2016

The new “Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket” appears like a straightforward piece of clothing. There’s nothing to advertise the technology that it packs and there is no hint that it does anything more than just look good.


The new “Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket” appears like a straightforward piece of clothing.



But, explore a little closer and the only unusual thing you’ll spot on this jean jacket is a slight error in the weave alongside a black strap partially wrapped around the cuff of the sleeve, modeled as a version of what you’d find on a trench coat.

Announced on Friday at Google I/O, the item is indeed a subtle piece of wearable technology, and the outcome of the yearlong collaboration between Levi Strauss & Co and Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) group, under the banner of Project Jacquard.

“Last year we left it quite open [what the product might be]; it could have been jeans or smart pants. But what we’ve now got is a functional and fashionable garment in the Commuter Jacket, where technology is serving a very clear purpose,” explained Ivan Poupyrev, technical programme lead at Google’s ATAP.

The jacket is the latest advancement in wearable technology. With a simple touch of a jacket sleeve, cyclists can wirelessly access their phone and favorite mobile apps to adjust music volume, silence a phone call or get an estimated ETA on their destinations.

The user can essentially programme the textile interface so their gestures have meanings that activate preferred functions. Using the Jacquard platform’s accompanying app, they can configure what they want primary and secondary uses to be from some of the aforementioned options ahead of time. They can also link to other known platforms including Spotify and GPS tracker Strava.

The discreetly placed Jacquard technology is literally woven into the jacket, allowing for simple gestures like tapping or swiping on a sleeve to activate functionality. Of course you can wash it, just like you do with any other jacket.

This perfect pairing showcases the knowledge and know-how of Google ATAP’s Jacquard team with the performance power of the Levi’s Commuter line, which is designed to perform as great as it looks.

“Anyone on a bike knows that navigating your screen while navigating busy city streets isn’t easy – or a particularly good idea,” said Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation for Levi Strauss & Co.

“This jacket helps to resolve that real-world challenge by becoming the co-pilot for your life, on and off your bike.”

During last year’s Google I/O conference, the Levi’s brand became Google ATAP’s first partner on Project Jacquard, which credited the brand for being authentic, innovative and fashionable.

The Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket is expected to be available beginning spring 2017.

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