Every one of the smartphone users reading this knows the panic of realizing you don’t have your smartphone with you. It’s not in your pocket, your bag, your car, etc., and you start to retrace your steps to figure out where it was left.
Google and Levi’s worked together to solve this problem. They have created a smart jacket that will prevent you from leaving without your phone.
Jacquard Smart Jacket
The Levi’s brand was founded well over 150 years ago. Initially the label was just denim jeans but then spread to other clothing and accessories, such as shirts, jackets, shoes, belts, etc.
They partnered with Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) to produce the Projects Jacquard jacket. Levi’s is Google’s first partner in this business with more options for the technology later on down the line. The technology embedded in it will cost you just as much as any other smart device: $350.
Project Jacquard is ATAP’s’ effort to weave touch-sensitive fabric into clothing and was announced initially in 2015. The clothing technology was named after a punch card-controlled loom from the 19th century. There actually weren’t many changes needed in the textile manufacturing process to weave capacitive threads with a copper core into the cloth.
By having the capacitive threads in the clothing, along with a Bluetooth-powered dongle, it allows them to act as input controls for your phone. In the case of the jacket, this is placed in the left cuff. The controls include music playback and navigation pings within Google Maps.
Additionally, the jacket can be used to answer calls on your phone and only respond to certain contacts. It’s marketed to bike commuters who use headphones with their phone.
It also has a feature called “Always Together.” It’s an alert that will go off if the jacket moves too far away from your phone. Your phone will get a notification, and the cuff will blink and vibrate.
The jacket can go in the wash if the cuff attachment is removed, and it’s suggested you not iron the sleeve, have the jacket dry-cleaned, or wash it too often.
Usefulness is at question here. It would be fabulous to know I’ll never forget my phone again, but it would be annoying at the same time. Every time you put on a jacket, you don’t leave it on throughout the day. What if you become warm and want to take it off? Then you would have to also disconnect your phone and the jacket so that they’re not notifying you that they’ve become separated.
Is the Google and Levi’s smart jacket something you would wear? Does the feature of not leaving your phone behind or its other smart features interest you? Is any of this worth $350? Let us know what you think about the Jacquard smart jacket in the comments below.