Can you imagine wearing a Levi’s jean jacket while commuting on your bike to work? Sure you can. But can you imagine if that jacket is considered a “smart” jacket and works with your mobile device?
Welcome Project Jacquard…
I recently had a first look at the Levi’s/Google Jacket at #WEARcon2016 in Boston in May. I listened intently to the conversation and I was “starstruck!” I had to go see it and feel it so after the presentation, I went over to Ivan Poupyrev, project lead for Project Jacquard at Levi’s and asked if I could feel it. It felt like a “regular” jean jacket.
What interested me, as a cyclist, is I wonder if people wear jean jackets when commuting. Obviously they do in San Francisco where the weather is perfect all year round, but what about other areas of the country? I asked Poupyrev if the jacket was dry fit. He explained that they encourage riders to wear dry fit clothing under the jacket so that it wicks the sweat.
It’s also interesting that Google is exploring the fabric route. That doesn’t mean that they are backing away from other projects as some may suspect.
So what exactly does the jacket do?
The jacket through a little button on the side, connects with your mobile device. You can tap it to play music, direct you via Google maps and more. The companies are keeping the jacket with an open API so that other developers can come in and add to the functionality of the jacket.
Project Jacquard was introduced at the IO conference in San Francisco this May. It will be available to the public in Spring 2017. The cost will be under $200.