May 20th, 2016

Google’s ATAP division has some really cool — sometimes “out there” — ideas of how we’ll soon be able to interact with technology in the future. One of those is Project Jacquard, ATAP’s touch-sensitive fabric project. At yet another session during this year’s Google I/O Ivan Poupyrev — the guy heading both Project Jacquard and Soli — announced a new partnership with Levi’s to launch their popular Commuter jacket with the technology built inside. Yes, it’s really happening.

Google ATAP Project Jacquard Levis Commuter Jacket

Using sensors weaved into the fabric, Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket connects to a user’s phone and allows them to interact with it by touching a specific portion of the sleeve. Functions include answering/rejecting calls, as well as integration with services like Spotify, Google Maps, Strava. Google plans on releasing APIs, of course, so that more developers can get on board. As far as durability, Poupyrev says you can handle it like any other jacket, you just need to make sure to remove the Bluetooth chip on the sleeve’s button loop before washing.

This isn’t some far off technology. Google says the first Levi’s Commuter jacket with Project Jacquard will launch in beta this fall (a jacket beta, heh), with a wider launch in Spring of 2017. While we’re still trying to figure out if Project Jacquard offers enough incentive to actively seek out this technology in clothes, we certainly wouldn’t mind finding it come standard thing in clothes we’re already wearing. Project Jacquard underwear, anyone?

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