Remember when Google’s Project Jacquard division introduced its wearable fabric technology at Google I/O a couple of years ago? The team used it in a smart denim jacket, dubbed the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket, that was shown off last May. Now, we know when you can get your hands on one and how much they will cost.
Both Google and Levi’s promised that the jacket would be available in 2017. While it won’t make the original spring launch date, reps at this week’s SXSW revealed the wearable will go on sale this fall for $350.
The Jacquard division, part of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, partnered with Levi’s to make the Commuter Trucker Jacket. The conductive fibers woven into the clothing lets you use part of a garment - in this case, it’s the left cuff on the sleeve - like a touchpad for your connected smartphone.
The Bluetooth attachment that clips on like a cufflink sends the inputs to a handset, so you can control your music, operate maps, answer calls, etc. just by touching the sleeve with your finger.
The jacket comes with a small, rechargeable battery that will reportedly last for two days, and you can customize your own gestures - swiping to the right could skip a music track, for example. Google is still looking at ways for third-party developers to contribute to the platform, so you’re limited to core functions for the time being.
Thankfully for something you’ll be wearing while cycling, the jacket can be washed, though you’ll need to remove the cufflink attachment first.
“We’ve been going through continuous consumer wear testing to refine the jacket and its abilities,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge. “We want to be sure we take the time to get it right and provide a great experience for people.
At $350, the jacket isn’t the cheapest, but it could appeal to cyclists who want a safe way of accessing their smartphone’s functions while traveling.