Friday, 17 June 2016

Connected Clothing - The new smart jacket co-designed by Levi’s & Google

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To all the fashion forward’s, Google and Levi's first smart garment has arrived, and it's a denim jacket that connects to your smartphone. Over the past year a Google tech company, Project Jacquard, has been focusing on developing interactive Jacquard garments to sell to consumers with clothing label Levi’s. Since its introduction in the Bay Area during the Gold Rush, Levi’s has become a cultural icon known for its design of fashionable and functional garments. The heart and soul however has always been Levi’s denim apparel. It’s the sturdiness of their fabric that has been the foundation of their brand since its birth in 1873. 

The jacket will be primarily marketed at cyclists and will enable them to adjust the volume, silence a call, and get an ETA on their destination, mostly controlled via touching their sleeve. “Anyone on a bike knows that navigating your screen while navigating busy city streets isn’t easy – or a particularly good idea. This jacket helps to resolve that real-world challenge by becoming the co-pilot for your life, on and off your bike,” says Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation for Levi Strauss and Co.

So for those that aren’t familiar, you might be wondering what Jacquard or connected clothing is?  Connected clothing is an innovative concept offering the fashion industry with a huge array of opportunities for interacting with services, devices and environments. Jacquard can be seen and used the same way any other fabric, with the added extra of new functionality. With this product, developers will have the ability to connect existing apps and services to the Jacquard-enabled clothes, and create new features specifically for the platform. 

The introduction of this fabric opens up many doors for designers. Perhaps we will start to see T-shirts, or running shoes that track athletic activities, or pants that, once tapped, call your Uber—because presumably that's the moment you're about ready to walk out the door. As Fast Company writes, ultimately, the goal is to integrate Jacquard's special thread into any item of clothing—suits, scarves, even bras. For all the so-called “traditionalists” out there, if it’s not something you’re thrilled about, there’s always cotton. 

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School 

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