Levi’s, one of the most popular denim brands has joined hands with Google’s ATAP division and has readied a smart jacket. The Jacket will be sold at $350 and will make use of ATAP technology that was announced at the Google I/O. The project aims at designing touch sensitive zones on the fabric and they would also include a chip that would detect gestures. The fabric is actually conductive in nature and can turn any part of the clothing into a connected device which in turn, can send instructions to your smartphone. It works on the similar lines of a smartphone but simply blends in the fabric.
The connected denim jacket was first announced at the Google I/O developer conference in May of last year and was called “Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket.” Levi’s global product innovation head Paul Dillinger and ATAP’s Project Jacquard lead Ivan Poupyrev had earlier discussed on the future of connectivity at an SXSW festival in Austin.
The commuter jacket helps users access some of the features on their phones without actually reaching out for the smartphone. For instance, the jacket beams notifications of meaningful destinations along the ride reminds you to stay on curse with the next turn of the ETA and it also lets you reject/accept calls while on the move. A tag wirelessly connects the denim with the mobile device and removing the same will make the garment washable.
ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects group) is an in-house technology incubator that works on shorter projects, ideally ones that take shape of a product within a span of two years. In fact, the Project Soli, is all about a technology that lets you make gestures without the help of a touch screen also comes under the ATAP. However, I am still skeptical of a smart apparel, I personally don’t like to be sporting the same jacket every time I go out and second a thick denim jacket is not something you will like to wear in sweltering summer heat.