In 2017, Levi’s injected the Trucker jacket from its Commuter line with an intuitive interface called Jacquard, by Google, enabling it to perform digital tasks such as navigation, communication and playing music, with just a few swipes or taps on the sleeve.
Now, a new iteration of this “connected coat” has been brought to life, available in two styles. The way it works is simple: The jacket is fit with a Jacquard tag — an SD card-sized component that is inserted into the jacket’s left cuff and connects to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth.
The functions are controlled via gestures — either a tap or a swipe — and can be customised through the accompanying Jacquard app.
The philosophy behind this user experience is that Levi’s, along with Google, aimed to create a “garment not a gadget”. They developed a language of movement that felt familiar and human, and mimics the way people would naturally interact with an item of clothing.
Jacquard’s touch-sensitive fabric has also been improved. Previously only suitable for ten washes, the jacket can now be treated and washed like a regular coat once the tag is removed, while the company claims the Jacquard threads are “distinguishable from other textiles.”
The fabric, which uses conductive yarn and industrial loom, makes it possible to integrate touch and gesture interactivity into the garment, allowing us to break free from hand-held devices — pioneering a new age of automated apparel.
Some of the jacket’s features include phone and messaging capability; music connection; an ‘Always Together’ alert that notifies you when your phone has been left behind; a ‘briefing’ station that provides the time, weather, calendar and daily traffic report, as well as camera functionality — where a single gesture takes a picture with your phone’s camera. There is also the option to enable a countdown timer before the shot is taken.
In addition, automatic software upgrades constantly equip the interface with new features and improvements, meaning the jacket never stops evolving over time, no matter how long you’ve had it.
The Levi’s Trucker with Jaquard by Google 2.0 is available — in the Classic Trucker and Sherpa Trucker styles for men and women — online and at select Levi’s stores worldwide.