Finally launching this week, Google and Levi’s are bringing wearable tech to the masses with the consumer availability of the Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker jacket, which will be the first garment with “Jacquard™ by Google” interactive features woven in. (Hashtag: #JacquardbyGoogle if you’re planning to buy and share as you wear.)
Designed for urban commuters on bikes and other cyclists, the limited edition jacket connects to a smartphone, allowing the wearer to easily control music, navigation and text and phone communication—even having messages read to you—with a few simple, customizable gestures.
As Google’s blog post explains, “With Jacquard woven in, the jacket has an interactive sleeve on the left cuff that allows the wearer to tap into his or her iOS or Android device without taking the eyes off the road.”
Priced at $350, the Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google will be available to purchase on Sept. 27th at three US retailers (Fred Segal in Los Angeles, Kinfolk in Brooklyn, NY and Concepts in Cambridge, MA) and next week at levi.com and select Levi’s stores.
It’s a fitting high-tech transformation for Levi’s iconic trucker jacket, which turns 50 this year:
More from Google’s overview of the collaboration:
Jacquard by Google transforms clothing. It’s an entirely new take on wearables that lets you do more than ever with the things that you love and wear every day. With Jacquard technology woven into the very fabric of your clothes, you can connect to your digital life instantly and effortlessly. With a literal brush of your cuff, you can navigate your life while living it.
Jacquard currently offers abilities designed for urban commuters. Here are just some of the things you can do:
• Communicate: Handle calls and texts without handling your device.
• Navigate: Stay focused on where you’re going, not your screen.
• Music: Stay in your groove. Play, pause, and skip through your favorite music.
Navigate the city. Keep in touch. Control your music. 150 years of denim innovation meets @Google engineering to create the first connected jacket—a Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with #JacquardbyGoogle technology woven in. Coming to select stores on Wednesday.
The smart jean jacket—which can be washed; just remove the snap tag—is also highlighted in a new video with the intro:
Meet the jacket made to fit your life on the move. With Jacquard technology woven in, the smart jacket is interactive and lets you connect to your music, navigation and friends — all without having to stop and reach for your phone.
CONNECTIVITY WOVEN INTO EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS
From the very first touch, Jacquard feels familiar. That’s because our focus has always been to add a new layer of connectivity and interactivity to things you already know, love, and use every day. By starting with raw materials, such as yarns and textiles, we found ways to provide unprecedented access to the digital world through items that aren’t typically considered to be technology. So your most beloved items – a favorite jacket, a pair of shoes, the bag you take everywhere – will keep you connected to your digital life in new, seamless ways.
Specifically tailored with the urban cyclist in mind, the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket was designed for getting around the city. The jacket features articulated shoulders to provide extra room to maneuver, reflectors, and a dropped hem to keep you covered as you ride. You can easily access your digital world because Jacquard technology is woven right into the sleeve.
Tiny electronics contained in the flexible snap tag connect the Jacquard Threads in the jacket’s cuff to your mobile device. The snap tag lets you know about incoming information, like a phone call, by giving you light and haptic feedback. Inspired by a strap that you would see on a cuff, it looks and feels like it’s a part of the jacket. The tag also houses the battery which can last up to 2 weeks between USB charges.
Customize and control your jacket with the Jacquard app. Abilities let you control messages, phone calls, navigation, music4, and more. Assign and reassign different abilities to the gestures you want to use and decide when you want to be notified by LED and/or haptic feedback.
BRAINS BEHIND SMART CLOTHING
Jacquard is the first full-scale digital platform created for smart clothing. It streamlines the way you access services and information by putting it right into the materials you already wear and use. Using touch gestures, you can access different abilities, such as getting directions or skipping to the next song. With Jacquard abilities you can easily interact with the digital world without disrupting what’s going on in your real one.
FAMILIAR FORMS WITH ALL NEW FUNCTIONS
The Jacquard platform offers an entirely new experience. Clothing can now understand various touch gestures, activate digital services, and respond with light and haptic feedback.
Jacquard is designed with real world purpose in mind. For the Levi’s jacket, we considered what gestures and abilities made the most sense for urban commuters. Each element of the experience is carefully considered and tested to make sure that using this new platform is purposeful and natural. Designed to be extendable, Jacquard can support all sorts of future interactions and use cases.
CONNECTING YOUR PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLD
Our approach of weaving interactivity into everyday objects is grounded in making technology more personal. That’s why we made Jacquard gestures and abilities customizable. You have control over what gestures you want to use for which services, as well as the kind of feedback you want.
Once you’ve set up your Jacquard-enabled garment, you can access online services, apps, and information without reaching for your phone. With a simple brush of your cuff, you can now get your next direction or skip to the next track on your playlist. As the use cases for the Jacquard platform expand, so do the variety of services to which you can connect.
THREADING IT TOGETHER
Connectivity is made possible through Jacquard Threads and embedded electronics. The conductive metal alloys used are incredibly thin, so they can be combined with a variety of natural and synthetic fibers. Once spun, Jacquard Threads have the weight and feel of normal yarn. Because they look, feel and perform like any other yarn, they can be woven using traditional techniques and equipment. The result is a wide variety of interactive textiles that are indistinguishable from regular textiles.
Jacquard textiles are created to be an integral part of an overall product design process, allowing for highly reliable integration with embedded electronics. And, of course, you can wash them just like any of your other clothes.
THE FINE PRINT:
• Requires a Google Account. For Android, you need a supported phone running Android 6.0.1 or newer. To check if your Android phone is supported go to jacquard.com/levi/specs. For iOS, you need an iPhone 6 or newer running iOS 10 or newer. Features vary between iOS and Android.
• Ride safely. Follow local laws.
• Internet connection required. Fees may apply.
• Functionality may be limited by your music service. Subscriptions and fees may apply. Not compatible with some music services. Go to g.co/jacquard/music for info.
• Jacket designed to withstand up to 10 washes with the Jacquard snap tag removed; varies by usage and wash conditions.
The idea: With a vision of combining the personal and tactile elements of textiles with the immediacy and flexibility of digital services, Ivan Poupyrev joined ATAP in January 2014, and began working out the initial concepts behind Project Jacquard.
Textiles reimagined: Different fabrics, raw materials and weaving techniques were explored. The manufacturing of the earliest Jacquard Threads and textiles began in factories in Japan in 2015.
Forging a partnership: At the 2015 I/O conference we were excited to present Project Jacquard and announce that we were teaming up with Levi’s to create the first Jacquard-enabled garment.
Making it a reality: After many trials and errors, we developed a complete supply chain to produce the first-ever batch of Jacquard-enabled Levi’s jackets. This was a game-changer for Jacquard as it signified the turning point from prototype to real-life product.
The software behind the softwear: In early 2016 we began diving into Jacquard app development. The app lets users customize the garment by assigning abilities to gestures. Hundreds of hours went into user research to understand what would be most useful to urban commuters. From there, we refined the functionality of the jacket and the app to accommodate their unique needs.
Product revealed: The first product incorporating the Jacquard platform – Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket – was debuted during a demonstration on-stage at Google IO 2016.
The Cannes Grand Prix Award: In mid-2016 Jacquard was awarded the Cannes Grand Prix for Product Design. Jury president Amina Horozic said, “I feel like it can enable and empower us to make a better world, a safer world and a world that we want to live in… It’s not just fabric. It’s the future.”
SXSW: With a fully functioning jacket produced, we wanted to celebrate. We worked with Levi’s to create a live try-on experience where visitors could interact with the jacket. Ivan took to the SXSW stage with Paul Dillinger to discuss the collaboration with Levi’s and the future of interactivity.
Permanently collected: In early September 2016 the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket was acquired by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum for their permanent collection as part of the history of American Design. Alongside the jacket, the museum acquired samples of materials, early prototypes and drawings that made the product possible.
Now officially acquired by the museum for the permanent collection is @levis's reimagined Trucker Jacket, with an interactive textile produced in collaboration with @google. Conductive threads are woven into the denim, connected to tiny circuits no larger than a button, with digital connectivity provided by a detachable snap tag. The wearer can access a variety of mobile services tailored to the needs of an urban commuter, such as music and maps, by simply swiping or tapping the jacket sleeve. On view in #MakingBreaking. #NewYorkTextileMonth #NYTM2 #jacquardbygoogle
The Levi’s jacket goes live: On September 27, 2017 the Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker jacket with Jacquard by Google will be put on sale. This was one of many firsts for Levi’s, but a particularly exciting moment for the Jacquard team.