Google is well known for their technology -- both hardware and software, while another mainstay in the world of fashion would be Levi’s, offering denim styles that have pervaded through the years without missing a beat. Well, it looks like the two companies have teamed up to bring about the realization of Project Jacquard -- a “smart” denim jacket which will certainly introduce yet another player to the wearable technology market. Sure, Project Jacquard is far from being yet another run-of-the-mill smartwatch, but rather, would like to bring the ordinary denim jacket to a whole new level.
Project Jacquard is not new at all, as it was first announced to the masses back in 2015. However, back then the available technology was not good enough to make the cut, pardon the pun. Fast forward to today, and this collaboration between Google and Levi’s would certainly raise more than a few eyebrows. The smart denim jacket from Project Jacquard will be made using a special kind material, whereby it enables the wearer to be able to control whatever music that is playing back on the smartphone, in addition to enjoying direction details at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
This is a joint venture that will see Project Jacquard hit the market with an asking price of $350 -- pretty pricey for a regular denim jacket, but considering the fact that it will be the first of its kind with a slew of technology packed into it, perhaps that is a fair price tag. Available for purchase later this fall, Project Jacquard will especially target cycling commuters for the sheer effectiveness in such a situation.
Is it a new novelty that can be considered to be a compulsory purchase? Not really. Just like the smartwatch, wearable technology has not quite made it into the same category as that of a smartphone, where that is deemed to be a “must have” communications device. Smartwatches, like this smart jacket, is not going to add too much value to your life, although it would be nice to have one if not for simple bragging rights. After all, the Project Jacquard has not proven itself to be an indispensable part of the modern day road warrior’s life just yet.
With Project Jacquard, one will be able to pre-program a slew of gestures which will activate its respective commands. For instance, it can be pre-programmed to announce on your earbuds the current time or arrival at a particular destination. It will no doubt have to work in tandem with a companion app, but this is repeating what a smartphone or a smartwatch is already capable off -- with the latter two options being able to deliver far more intricate details and information than the former.
At least this jacket from Project Jacquard will be the first step in delivering standard industrial looms that can include touch and gesture interactivity. It would certainly be interesting to see how future revisions of this smart jacket will hold out, or will it just simply stop here. Apart from that, technology weaved into fashion can be a rather tricky proposition since there are seasonal styles to follow which will surely make a particular purchase obsolete way sooner than say, a smartphone.