Google has been experimenting with wearable technology for the past couple of years. In 2015, they released a new line of functional clothing that allowed users to interact with their phones through the fabric.
However, due to expensive retail prices, the wearable clothing trend never caught on. Almost five years later, the company is still chasing the same goal with the recent release of Levi’s Jacquard-enabled jackets.
Back in 2017, Saint Laurent launched a backpack with Jacquard support priced at 1000$. Luxury products like these didn’t get much attention from the average tech users due to the high price.
That is why Google is hoping to present a new type of wearable technology that will bring the same benefits at a more affordable price. Read on to learn more about their Levi’s smart jackets!
The New Smart Jacket Features
The latest collaboration between Google and Levi’s has brought to us two versions of the smart jackets, including the classic Levi’s Trucker Jacket at 198$, and the Sherpa Trucker Jacket at 248$.
Each jacket comes with Google’s Jacquard dongle that is placed in the jacket’s cuff. It connects to the conductive fabric inside the jacket and thus makes interaction possible.
Once you connect a smartphone to the dongle, you can control multiple features with simple movements such as a swipe or a tap over the cuff. For instance, taping and holding over the cuff of the jacket will allow you to issue commands to the connected smartphone.
Users can also customize each movement or gesture to activate different features and abilities, including communicating with the voice assistant, controlling music, or controlling the phone’s camera.
The tech-enabled jackets currently feature 19 abilities that can be customized on the phone. The dongle also sends notifications through vibration to let you know about your messages, emails, and alarms.
Will Wearable Technology Catch On
After it has failed to earn the interest of the masses, wearable technology is making a breakthrough once again. The question is, will it catch on this time?
Experts at Google are hoping that the tech-enabled jackets will become a true thanks to their more affordable price point. Ivan Poupyrev, the head of Jacquard by Google: “Since we launched the first product with Levi’s at the end of 2017, we were focused on trying to understand and working really hard on how we can take the technology from a single product […] to create a real technology platform that can be used by multiple brands and by multiple collaborators.”
He also added that the overall goal of creating wearable technology is to “give people the opportunity to create new digital touch points to their digital life through things they already have and own and use every day.”
We’re left to see whether smart jackets are going to become the next big trend. The Jacquard-enabled jackets are currently available in Germany, France, Italy, UK, US, Australia, and Japan.