We first heard about Google’s Project Jacquard back at Google IO in 2015. Then it surfaced at Google IO again last year when Google announced a partnership with Levi’s and were working on a “connected” jacket, the “Trecker Commuter Jacket”. We have finally heard more word on it at SXSW and it is delayed and not cheap.
The Commuter jacket was meant to be arriving in the US Spring of 2017 (about now) but it now appears that this has been delayed until the US Autumn (our Spring). A series of Tweets have given us more information than we have seen in a long time. Firstly there was Ivan Poupyrev of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) :
— Ipoupyrev (@ipoupyrev) March 11, 2017
Other Tweets from Tom Emrich, wearable journalist, were live from the even mentioned by Ivan above revealed that the Commuter jacket API will be made available to developers to create new use cases, the tech component snaps onto the left sleeve of the jacket (as we saw at Google IO 2016), and it will be finally available to purchase “this fall for $350”.
Levis Commuter Jacket available this Fall for $350 #SXSW
— Tom Emrich @ #SXSW (@tomemrich) March 11, 2017
Using Google’s Jacquard Platform, incorporating Garments, a smartphone app and a software service interaction model based on several APIs the jacket can be used to control apps such as Spotify and navigation apps. The jacket also has a flexible USB-based control module on the left sleeve that provides both the power and communications back to your smartphone, and has an inbuilt USB-A connector for self-charging. More information on Project Jacquard can be found at Google’s ATAP website.
Are you excited for the Levi’s Commuter jacket? Can you see yourself using it? Personally I’m not sure I’d ever use it to it’s fullest extent, well, to any extent so it’s US$350 I won’t be parting with.