Google and Levi’s $350 smart jacket lets you control your phone with your sleeve

by CNBC 132 views0

Man models Levi's Google jacket | Google

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Wearable technology is set for its most literal incarnation with a new partnership between Google and clothing line Levi’s.

From this fall, technology lovers will quite literally be able to wear their hearts on their sleeves, donning a new smart jacket which allows them to control their mobile device at the swipe of a cuff.

Users will be able to skip songs, use Google maps and make phone calls by brushing their sleeve.

The denim jacket, which will retail at $350, is the first of its kind and makes use of ‘Project Jacquard’ technology, which has been under development by Google since 2015.

The technology combines thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns to create touch-sensitive interactive fabrics.

Google | Model shows touch sensor on Levi's Google jacket
Google | Model shows touch sensor on Levi’s Google jacket

These conductive yarns can then be connected to a tiny circuit, no larger than a button, creating data which can be wirelessly transmitted to mobile phones and other electronic devices.

The smart fibres are washable and the button circuit has a two-day battery life.

According to the Project Jacquard website, the technology can be incorporated into a variety of fabrics, suggesting further wearable technologies could be on the horizon should the smart jacket be well-received by consumers.

“Jacquard is a blank canvas for the fashion industry. Designers can use it as they would any fabric, adding new layers of functionality to their designs, without having to learn about electronics.

“Developers will be able to connect existing apps and services to Jacquard-enabled clothes and create new features specifically for the platform.”