Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technologies and Projects) division took to the stage last year and announced Project Jacquard a smart fabric that would allow physical interaction with your digital world.
Fast forward to Google I/O 2016 and the team were back on stage, and they weren’t empty handed. In a partnership between Google and Levis, the very first Smart Jacket” powered by Jacquard is coming in the US Spring of 2017 with the “Trecker Commuter jacket”. The fabric is 100% washable and as durable as a typical denim weave.
How does it all work you ask? It’s based on Google’s new Jacquard Platform, incorporating Garments, a smartphone app and a software service interaction model based on new APIs. In addition to the Platform you need a flexible USB based control module that provides both the power and communications back to your smartphone, and has an inbuilt USB A connector for self-charging.
During the onstage demonstration, the Levis jacket was used to control Spotify and get audio navigation cues all through simple gestures on the interaction panel on the Jacket’s left sleeve. The Smart fabric will interpret both swipe and tap gestures to allow simple control of multiple services, and once developers begin to develop for the platform it will be interesting to see where it can go.
When can I get this jacket I hear you ask? Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a wait with retail availability not expected until Spring 2017. However, there is a beta program, yes that’s right we now have betas for our clothing, starting sometime this year, however, I very much doubt Australia will be included in that.
The Levis Jacket is only the beginning of Googles plans for Jacquard with Google hopeful they will bring more partners on into the future. Take a look at the Project Jacquard website for more videos and information.
Were you expecting to see a physical product out of Jacquard? What do you think of the Levis jacket? let us know below.