Google x Levis – Smart Jacket Collaboration

by Baden Knifton

The Google x Levis Commuter jacket collaboration, will be the first-ever garment to incorporate ATAP’s Project Jacquard sensor fabric tech.

We’re big fans of wearable technology here at Onyx Snowboarding, so were super excited to hear about ‘The Commuter’ smart jacket collaboration set for release early next year. Levis and Google announced their partnership in 2015, promising the release of “smart clothing” that incorporated a technology they had codenamed Project Jacquard.

In simply terms the jacket has an interactive patch which senses touch, pressure and hand position away from the sensor. Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) group explains that the technology is basically woven into the fabric: there’s interactive Jacquard technology woven into the threading on the left arm of the jacket, and a small Bluetooth-enabled loop that can be connected to the cuff of the jacket. The cuff enables your phone to communicate with the jacket, and each user can configure which gestures they’d like to control each task.

Cuff sensor - Google x Levis Commuter Jacket

Cuff sensor – Google x Levis Commuter Jacket

The more observant amongst you will have noted the Commuter Jacket is aimed square at cyclists, so it’s the apps side of this that has us excited for the potential application into winter sports. Right now it works with your calls and messaging apps, Google Play Music and Maps and third-party apps from Spotify and Strava. But just imagine: a GoPro app… No more “Is the red light on” or faffing with the daft remote/phone, link to the heads up display smart goggles, send instructions to the drone filming your epic run, on slope haptic feedback to find your favourite run/friends/secret off piste spot. The possibilities are endless!

Wearable tech in snowsports is nothing new, but the best we ever got to clothing integration was the iPod controls on the Burton jackets back in the late naughties… and that sucked monkey butt. So we’re super excited to see what all those creative types out there can bring to the table.

Google Jacquard Platform

Google Jacquard Platform

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