We were promised wearable technology quite a long time ago. Unfortunately, no company managed to deliver at least a decent such piece. And what devices we got were not at all the way everybody imagined them to be. They often had an uninspired design, technical difficulties or were too expensive for what they offered. This caused everybody’s excitement about wearable technology to dim a little. Until now. It seems like the clothing company Levi’s decided that it was time to step in and they designed a jacked embedded with wearable technology from Google. Could this finally be the device we have all been waiting for? Possible.
Google and Levi’s team up
This new jacket represents a collaboration between the renowned clothing company Levi’s and Google’s Project Jacquard. This is a division of Google’s ATAP group. Those are the guys who managed to create conductive fibers which can be inserted directly into clothing items. Those transform any movement you are making into touch inputs. A Bluetooth attachment, in the form of a cufflink, then sends those to your smartphone. The jacket is very conveniently built because you can wash those fibers without any worry. You only need to be careful to remove the cufflink before throwing the jacket into the washing machine.
Levi’s brought their innovative jacket to SXSW, this week in Austin. Originally, it was supposed to come out this spring. However, it seems like the two companies delayed its release until this fall. So, there might still be some problems with it which need fixing. Even if the jacket seemed completely functional during SXSW, its mobile app did not. Because of this, many speculated that this might be the reason for the delay.
What we were waiting for?
For the moment, the jacket does some pretty basic stuff. You can get map updates or change a song with just a movement. Apart from this, there is nothing too impressive. And nothing to pay $350 for. This is exactly why both Google and Levi’s promised that they would add more features to it. However, even like this, according to some testers, this jacket might be the best wearable technology piece ever created. It has lots of potential and most importantly, it looks and feels good. It is not something that screams “wearable technology” right from the get go. Instead, one might even pass it as a completely basic jean jacket. And this is maybe the most important factor.
Interestingly enough, many people already said that they would buy the jacket not for its technology, but because it looks like a nice piece of clothing. So, maybe this is what all the other devices were missing. The capacity to be both a normal clothing item and a wearable device when you need it. So, the fact that it has some motion controlled features is a bonus. For the moment, there are three such gestures available: swipe in, swipe out, and double tap. The companies will surely add more as they go. Still, for the moment, this Google and Levi’s smart jean jacket might be exactly what we needed to start the wearable technology revolution.
Image source: here