Smart clothes is the word that has come to represent wearable fashion that has technology or gadgetry infused into it. They are designed to be used for various purposes including charging our gadgetry, tracking your heart rate during exercise, monitoring your health, your destination, the list is endless. Tech fashion is still a new concept, hence designers are still finding new ways to come up with fashion for the mass market – outside of sports, and monitoring our fitness and health.
Levi Strauss and Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects division have partnered to make a smart jacket for urban cyclists known as Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket. It’s a denim jacket with a smart tag and a touch screen on the left sleeve cuff, which helps you connect with your phone using gesture controls like swiping or tapping the sleeve, LEDs and haptic feedback. The touch screen is actually a specially woven yarn made for gestures. The smart tag has a rechargeable battery which lasts almost two weeks after re-charging. Some of the basic features are:
1. Handle calls or texts without having to pull your phone out of your jacket.
2. Play, pause, or skip music you’re listening to.
3. Hear your directions for your destination. It connects to Google maps.
4. Counting miles traveled.
The technology woven into the fabric is provided by Google’s Jacquard. Jacquard’s threads are woven into the cuff and wirelessly connected to your smartphone. First off, the Jacquard app which is available for both ios and Android will ask you to customize different gestures and features for your suitability, such as what should happen when you tap twice on your yarn or what happens when you brush toward or away from you.
Google’s Jacquard is:
1. Its an attractive looking jacket based on a classic trench coat design.Its good work from Levi.
2. The back is not longer than the front and the cuffs are tighter.
3. The smart tag is small and the sleeve is highly responsive.
4. You can remove the smart tag and wash your jacket.
5. You can use it as a normal jacket off the bike.
1. Expensive, you will cough up $350 USD for one.
2. You have to have your smartphone around you and headphones on.
3. The smart tag is removable and this will help in washing the jacket but the fabric of the jacket will not last after being washed 10 times.
4. The Jacquard app works with Android 6.01 or newer versions and ios 10 or newer versions.
5. Since its highly responsive, it goes without saying that the sleeve is a touch sensitive.
Google and Levi had partnered before, but this jacket has a lot of promise compared to their earlier releases. It is just starting to hit stores with its earliest release coming on Wednesday September 27th. This smart jacket is also available on Levi’s Site from October 2nd. But this is all in US for now.