Technology nowadays is a wondrous thing. You can connect with anyone, anywhere in the world and command your house to turn the lights off. You can even have Samuel L. Jackson give you the daily news. But in new technological advancements and five years in the making, Levi’s and JacquardTM by Google have joined forces with wearable capabilities.

“We were presented with an opportunity for gesture to create meaning and have meaning from garment, to phone,” Paul Dillinger, Levi’s Vice President of Global Product Innovation recalled to ICON.

In 2017, Levi’s launched its first Jacquard Commuter Trucker Jacket. The premise around the technology was to discourage cyclists from looking at their phones while riding, instead creating a simple gesture such as tapping or swiping to control and reveal information from their phone without looking at it. While the project seemingly didn’t take off quickly, the technology is back for a new, more capable version and is even smaller and more discrete. The result is two heritage styles of jackets – the Classic Trucker and Sherpa Trucker – with the left cuff weaved with the computer-enabled hardware. Accompanying the jacket is a chip that slots into the sleeve, and connects to a smartphone using bluetooth.

Credit: Supplied

“If they (cyclists) need to know what song is playing on their Spotify, they’re going to check their phone. So, suddenly this technology opportunity stopped being just an interesting new gadget to a tool to enable awareness and presence… it became urgent and essential,” Dillinger said when explaining where the concept originated. “At its heart, it’s basically a jean jacket that in the cuff has a series of woven capacitive yarns.”

As with the original version of the JacquardTM-equipped Levi’s® Trucker, the 2.0 version features an ever-expanding range of abilities and according to Dillinger will update with the previous and forthcoming technology – meaning the latest jacket will never become obsolete. Via an easy-to-use app (even the technologically challenged like myself can use it), wearers can access navigation, ride share apps, weather and traffic reports, messaging, music, and will let you know when you’ve left your phone or jacket behind.

Credit: ICON / Rebekah Clark

While the technology isn’t necessary, it’s pretty cool flex and will definitely enable you to stay off your phone. The jacket will officially launch October 3rd, and will be available at Levi’s store and online and through MYER.

thoughts?