Not your mother’s denim: Levi’s and Google offer ‘smart jackets’ that answer phones, control music

October 2, 2019

Time was when all a denim jacket had to do was look reasonably “hip” and keep you warm. Now Levi’s is revamping two of its most iconic jackets to make them “smart, “ Business Insider reports.

The San Francisco-based denim brand has teamed up with Google’s Jacquard platform to create a tech-enabled jacket. Levi’s will integrate Google’s technology into its classic trucker jacket and its Sherpa trucker jacket, which are two of the brand’s more recognizable styles.

Jacquard, which is part of Mountain View. California-based Google’s experimental Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, works with designers to create connected apparel and products. Most recently, Jacquard teamed up with couture house Saint Laurent to make a connected backpack.

What exactly does Jacquard do? It is a little electronic tab, called the Jacquard Tag, which slips into the cuff of the jacket and pairs with your phone. The tag is smaller than a stick of gum, but it allows you to use the cuff of the jacket almost like a touchpad.

The point of the Jacquard jacket, Business Insider reports, is to leave your phone in your pocket, but remain connected. Different hand gestures, like tapping on your sleeve or covering it fully with your hand, will allow you to control different mechanisms. You’ll be able to get directions or your ETA while commuting somewhere—or to hear a traffic report, control your music, or answer phone calls.

This isn’t the first time Levi’s and Google’s Jacquard platform have worked together—

the duo created its first denim jacket together in 2017. What’s different now is that the technology is significantly slimmer and smaller, making it almost impossible to tell that the jacket is “smart.”

The jackets, which come in men’s and women’s sizes, will cost $198 for the regular trucker jacket and $248 for the Sherpa version.

Research contact: @businessinsider

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