Levi’s, Google team up for wearable technology

Levi’s is the first official partner of Google for Project Jacquard, which will apply the search engine giant’s technology to the brand’s iconic Commuter jacket. This is the jacket everyone will want to wear in 2017, when it will be available in Levi’s stores worldwide.


What makes the jacket so different? There is a sensor at the wearer’s left cuff, which you can take off and charge with a USB plugin that is linked to the special yarns in the jacket’s fabric. The sensor is touch sensitive, allowing wearers to answer or decline calls, skip songs and adjust the volume on their playlists and even access turn-by-turn directions with simple gestures like swipes and taps.

Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group unveiled Project Jacquard and named the Levi’s its first official partner at Google I/O 2015.

“When it came to choosing a first partner for Project Jacquard, the Levi’s brand was a natural fit. Levi’s is an iconic brand that’s authentic, highly innovative and fashionable. Levi’s brings to Jacquard their deep knowledge and understanding of apparel, their consumers and what they value,” said Ivan Poupyrev, a Technical Product Lead (TPL) for Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group.

According to Google, Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard industrial looms. Everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces.

“In our hyper-digital world, people constantly struggle to be physically present in their environment while maintaining a digital connection. The work that Google and Levi’s are embarking upon with Project Jacquard delivers an entirely new value to consumers with apparel that is emotional, aspirational and functional,” said Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation at Levi’s.

“Levi’s has always stayed true to our iconic products, while continuing to introduce innovations that address the current challenges of modern life,” he added.

Innovation is in Levi’s brand DNA. Invented 142 years ago during the gold rush era in California, Levi’s created the world’s first blue jeans and jeans for women. The brand is known its button fly 501s, which are considered e world’s most popular jeans.

The jacket will be officially known as Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google jacket. It is being designed with cyclists in mind, so riders will be able to do things like turn up their music or block a phone call by touching a patch on their wrists. The jacket will have three basic components: The jacket, with the woven gesture-sensing technology, a removable tag that connects to your phone via Bluetooth and an app that lets you set up what different gestures, like tapping versus swiping, will control which apps.

For those wondering if the Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google jacket is washable, it is. When you take the sensor off, the rest of the jacket can be washed just like any other garment.

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Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.