Google and Levi’s teamed up this week to showcase a smart jean jacket that will sell for $350 and will hit store shelves later this year.
According to a report in The Washington Post, the jean jacket, dubbed the Commuter Jacket, was unveiled at the SXSW show in Austin over the weekend and is geared at people who ride bicycles to work. The jacket has technology that is woven into its fibers, enabling people to accept phone calls, access directions and find out what time it is all by tapping and swiping at their sleeves.
The information the user requested comes through their headphones, enabling them to get the best of both worlds: internet information all the while keeping their eyes planted on the road. The report noted the jacket is slated to start selling in the fall at stores around the country.
Making the jacket even more attractive is the fact that, thanks to technology, it can be washed by removing a smart cufflink. The cufflink has a battery life of two days. The report noted that while not everyone may want an internet-enabled jacket, it does signify where the market is heading.
“I think that the commuter jacket from Levi’s is really perfect because it’s focused on a single consumer audience. It has the cyclist in mind and is targeting what their needs are,” said Sidney Morgan-Petro, retail editor at trend forecasting firm WGSN, in the report.
The editor said the jacket stands out from other wearable clothing because it’s aiming to solve a problem that happens every day when bicycling to work, rather than making technology center stage for the clothing. The report noted a forecast from Juniper Research found that wearables are slated to be a $19 billion industry by 2018.