Levi’s has announced the Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard technology that turns this denim jacket into a wearable device. Google says that at the heart of it, the Trucker Jacket is a normal jacket that can be washed and worn any time you want. It just gives you an added functionality of starting or stopping music, getting directions or reading incoming text messages—by simply swiping or tapping the jacket sleeve.
Wearable devices have mostly been confined to the wrists, with smartwatches and fitness trackers. Google Glass came on to the scene but, fizzled out as well. The Snapchat glasses are a trend nowadays but difficult to buy and if you don’t like Snapchat, then those glasses don’t make sense. But, almost everyone wears a jacket, don’t they? This collaboration between Google and Levi’s suggests that the wearable devices market is more than just the smartwatches and fitness bands.
The gesture-sensing Jacquard Threads are woven into the cuff and wirelessly connected to your mobile phone using tiny electronics embedded inside the sleeve and a flexible snap tag. The snap tag also notifies you about incoming phone calls or text messages¹ with light and haptic feedback. The gestures on the jacket cuff are fully re-configurable, using the Jacquard app you can assign gestures to invoke different digital “abilities” :
- Play or pause your music, skip to the next track, or ask what song is playing.
- Get the next direction, ETA, or the current time.
- Receive updates on incoming call or texts with an LED light and a vibration on your sleeve, and have the text message read to you.