Levi’s Google Smart Jacket with a smart sleeve is finally on sale for $350
Google smart jacket sounds interesting but the real question is whether it is worth it. Earlier this year we discussed how Levi was working on a smart jacket in relation to the Jacquard project of the Google Advanced Technology and Products group.
Now, after much anticipation, the jacket is ready and is available at Levi.com (and in some Levi stores) since October 2. It will cost you $ 350.
The Levi’s Commuter Jacket Key is on an instant tag on the left sleeve that allows you to interact with your phone directly on the jacket using gestures, LEDs, and tactile feedback.
It is not completely discrete, from the images, it seems to protrude slightly from the sleeve, but is small enough. But if you want a simple key and a simple way to interact with your phone (and you love denim jackets), you can control it.
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Basically, Google and Levi had to figure out how to integrate capacitive cables with a copper core into the actual fabrication process of a denim jacket and then use a small, small Bluetooth key to fit into a button to communicate with your phone.
It took a lot of design work to do it because the jacket needed to feel like a jacket. The result is something you can put in the washer and tumble dryer without spoiling the internal circuit.
“We wanted to make a garment, not a gadget,” says Ivan Poupyrev, head of Google smart jacket. And working with Levi to create the process of making jackets, I think he has made a long way towards achieving this goal.
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The Google smart jacket is mainly intended for bicycle travelers, and it would work well for this group. You can use the Jacquard application, available for iOS and Android, to customize what exactly your jacket can do.
You can receive messages, send calls to your answering machine, listen to your next address during a bicycle, check your music, and more. The label is charged via USB and the battery lasts about two weeks. It is detachable, so the jacket is, presumably, washable.