When an article of clothing is described as "smart", it usually means that the item is particularly chic, neat or fashionable. But the Google Jacquard-equipped Commuter Trucker Jacket from Levi's is smart by the 21st-century IoT definition.
The Commuter Trucker Jacket is designed to keep you connected without having to look at your phone – and without the need for an accessory (like a smartwatch) with an aggressively tech-y look. At first glance, the jacket looks like any other piece of fashion-forward outerwear.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
However, the jacket is the first item to have Google's Project Jacquard technology literally woven in. It sports a minimal (if product images are to be trusted), removable tag on the cuff that houses key electronics. Once you remove the tag, the jacket can be laundered like any other clothing item.
Google and Levi's seem to aim this smart jacket at bicycle commuters, who can use it for tasks like navigating a route, accessing a music library, or silencing a phone call at the swipe of a sleeve, without the inconvenience and danger of reaching for a smartphone.
The jacket was first announced back in 2016, a year after Google's ATAP lab announced Project Jacquard, but Levi's recently confirmed price and availability at a featured session at SXSW. The jacket will reportedly go on sale for $350 this (Northern) fall.