Google and Levi's connected smart jacket gets a release date and will cost you $350

SXSW: Project Jacquard is looming
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The wait for a smart clothing hero could soon be over, with the team behind Google's connected Levi's jacket announcing a price tag and release date.

This comes around two years since the initial teaser, with the first garment utilising the tech shown off by Google at SXSW 2017. The Levi's Commuter Trucker jacket, which will come in both men's and women's sizes, will go on sale in late 2017 for around $350. OK that's not a precise date but it means it's really coming plus that price is (relatively) affordable too.

Read next: Levi's talks bringing fashion closer to tech

The last time we saw Project Jacquard was at Google's I/O event last year, with the jacket's left sleeve featuring a touchpad that gives the wearer access to smart functions by simply tapping or swiping across it.

The jacket will also come with a companion app, allowing you to set 'abilities' — such as a double tap to tell you the time or a swipe up to resume your music.

According to Ivan Poupyrev, project lead for Project Jacquard at Google, the touchpad is given life by a rechargeable tag that fits onto the inside of the sleeve. At launch, this is expected to last a couple of days, though Poupyrev hopes to eventually increase this.

"It was a long road but what's really impressive, is the entire journey, we stayed true to our vision and what we wanted to achieve," Poupyrev says. "This jacket is going to be sold as a piece of apparel, that was always the vision from the very beginning."

And while Levi's happens to be the first on board the train, the materials behind Jacquard — a special fabric woven with conductive yarn — makes it possible for an ecosystem of similar garments to develop. Poupyrev even hinted that clothing makers can even decide whether to make the tech invisible.

Essential reading: Smart clothing - what are the benefits?

How quickly this formulates, though, remains to be seen. The search engine giant is still working out how third-parties can join the party and help branch the features outside of control over maps, music and text messages. Jacquard has been around for a while now and aside from a video with a Saville Row tailor, we haven't seen any other fashion names make announcements.

With the smart clothing scene still in its infancy, the backing of household names like Google and Levi's could signal the boom this bubble of wearable tech needs.

Much like the reckless customer in the promo above, you'll be ignoring calls from work before you know it.

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Conor Allison

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Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 


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