Posted on March 14, 2017 by staff

SXSW: Levi’s and Google announce wearable tech release date


Google and Levi’s has announced the release date and price of their joint venture in wearable technology.

The smart jacket, codenamed Project Jacquard, was originally revealed in 2015, but further details were only unveiled at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Named the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket, it will be put on sale to the public this autumn for £288.

It had originally been scheduled for spring.

Available for both men and women in various sizes, the jacket works by weaving touch and gesture controls into its fabric – essentially turning the whole garment into a touch pad.

Controlled via the left cuff, this allows its wearer to answer calls, changed the music settings on their phone, or get directions without having to take their device out of their pocket or bag.

Skipping a song, for example, will be achieved by a double-tap of the wrist.

To celebrate the announcement, Levi’s and Google hosted a celebration at SXSW with DJ sets by Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem and the Juan MacLean, and Neon Indian.

Ivan Poupyrev, technical program lead at Google’s ATAP, said: “In the future, everything is going to be connected.

“We don’t want the functionality to be a short fix and the technology then expires.

“We want people to keep the jacket for a long time as they do with other Levi’s products.”

Google announce the battery will last approximately two days, but it is expected that this will increase.

The same left cuff which controls the dark blue denim jacket can be removed for charging. All swipe commands activate a small LED and generate a vibration on the wearer’s arm.

Jacquard technology can be woven into any material, which means it is likely alternative styles will become available in the future.

It will be the first commercial product made available by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP).

The jacket is also expected to be waterproof and machine-washable.