There are devices you wear on your wrist or maybe strapped around your arm, but Levi’s and Google have gone a step further in the realm of so-called “wearables” with a jacket that wirelessly connects with the user’s smart phone.
The Levi Commuter Trucker Jacket is designed to let cyclists change the song or get directions with a swipe or a pat on the cuff, using special material developed by Google’s Project Jacquard division.
The jacket is made from conductive yarns that are woven into the clothing, and can register touch inputs like a screen. A tag clipped on the cuff wirelessly connects the yarns in the jacket to the user’s mobile device.
When it comes time to wash it, wearers remove the tag and throw the jacket in the laundry like other denim clothing (though there will inevitably be those folks who accidentally toss the tag in the wash as well).
Right now the jacket can only control music and give the wearer map updates, but the two companies hope to add more features eventually, reports The Verge from Austin, where the two companies showed off the jacket this week at SXSW.
It’s unclear when the garment will be available to the masses — though it was originally slated for spring — it will cost $350.
The delay is likely due to the fact that it seem there’s still some work to be completed on the app, The Verge reports.
“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.