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You Could Directly Control Your SmartPhone Using This Jacket

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At its last year’s developer conference, Google announced a partnership with Levi Strauss & Co., a clothing brand renowned for its Levis range of denim jeans. The partnership saw the introduction of ‘Project Jacquard,’ aimed at manufacturing smart clothing by weaving multi-touch sensors into fabrics. Almost a year later, the collaboration has come out with its first product.

Demoed at Google I/O 2016, the ‘Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket’ is a smart piece of clothing. The jacket’s garment has a conductive fabric woven into it in the form of an interactive patch. This patch is capable of sensing touch, pressure and even the position of the wearer’s hand before it’s touched.

The interactive patch is woven into the jacket’s left arm and connects to a loop in the cuff of the jacket via Bluetooth. This makes it possible to use the cuff to control your smartphone in a variety of ways. The technology also supports multiple gestures like tapping or swiping on the sleeve, and these can be used to do everything from changing tracks and volume to getting navigation directions via Google Maps.

What’s impressive about the smart jacket is that it’s made using Levi’s standard manufacturing process, and can thus be washed like any other piece of clothing. You just need to remove the Bluetooth enabled loop from the cuff before washing the jacket.

Through the Jacquard platform, developers will have access to a host of APIs which can be used to make the jacket work with third-party apps as well.
The interactive jacket is meant to simplify navigation for commuters (especially bikers), without requiring them to take out their phones when on the move. Future plans include manufacturing a variety of other smart garments, including athletic and business wear.
Levi Strauss and Co. will be shipping the first smart jacket(s) next year.


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