Smart denim jacket on its way from Levis and Google

Can be cleaned in washing machine. Coming this year!

Google and Levi's want people to beta test their smart clothing, starting later this year. The companies have teamed up on a smart jacket for bicyclists that will allow wearers to control their smartphones using sensors woven into the cuff. The product lines should be launched in 2017.

The jacket is part of the continuing development of Project Jacquard, a system for turning fabric into a digital sensor that can then be linked with a smartphone to control applications like music players and navigation. Google first showed off the project at its I/O developer conference last year and spent the intervening months further refining its development.

The Commuter smart jacket is a key step for wearable technology because it's more stylish and less obtrusive than a smartwatch. Its intelligent functionality is powered by a rechargeable digital clip that attaches to the jacket's cuff. Remove it, and the jacket looks like a normal piece of clothing.

The Commuter jacket is supposed to be as durable as a regular jacket -- it's not supposed to be a precious piece of technology that has to be babied by its wearer. The jacket is designed to be hung up, crumpled up and tossed in a bag, thrown over a chair, and even put through a washing machine, said Levi's Vice President Paul Dillinger.

There's still a question of price, though. Google and Levi's haven't said how much the jacket will cost, but it seems likely to be more expensive than Levi's current Commuter jackets, which retail for more than US$100.

Google isn't stopping with just building one jacket, though. The company is working with commercial uniform maker Cintas to bring Jacquard into the enterprise as well. The companies haven't said what form that collaboration will take, but it will be interesting to see how smart uniforms play in a business setting.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Smart ITClothing

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?