Levi Strauss & Co. has not had much cause to significantly alter its denim jacket design since it first arrived on shelves more than a century ago.
Even its latest offering, the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket, is distinctly recognisable as a denim jacket. But a small black clip-on hints at what makes this product hugely different from what has gone before.
Jacquard is a technology developed in partnership with Google to create a fashionable wearable. The jacket, designed to be worn when cycling, allows users to interact with their smart phone using gestures and voice commands.
What are wearables?
Connected clothes, smart clothes, or high-tech clothes fall into the category of wearable devices – when electronics are incorporated into things that you can wear comfortably on your body.
What does the jacket do?
When you’re cycling along you can play, pause and skip your music or ask what song is playing; you can get your next direction, your estimated time of arrival or the current time; and you can receive updates on incoming calls or texts with a LED light or a vibration on your sleeve and have the text message read to you.
How does it work?
Inside the cuff, gesture-sensing threads are wirelessly connected to your phone, and can be set up using the Jacquard app to operate via tiny electronics embedded inside the jacket sleeve.
When you download the app, available on iOS and Android, you can reassign the gestures to change what swipe up, swipe down and double tap translate to on your phone.
The jacket is compatible with phones running Android 6.0.1 or newer, and iOS 10 or newer.
What does it look like?
Unlike a lot of wearable technology, this look like something you can wear for fashion. It’s still made of denim, it’s washable (remember to take out the tag first) and if what reviewers say is true, it’s still comfortable to wear while exercising.
The snap tag is black and fairly discrete as it clips on to the inside arm of the jacket by the wrist.
How can I buy one?
First dibs will go to customers in the United States, with selected stores selling them from Wednesday September 27. From early October, the jacket will be available online at Levi’s website.
What other high-tech clothes are there?
Just this month there’s been another new jacket released that allows contactless payments to be made through the cuff.
Barclaycard and its contactless bPay technology have partnered with fashion brand Lyle & Scott to create the product which allows you to pay by tapping the sleeve against pay points.
For those who fancy themselves as a bit of a 007 and have the salary to match, you can try the £1.9 million air-conditioned, diamond-studded, bullet-proof, water-resistant and dirt-free suit.
Manufacturer SuitArt worked with body armour manufacturer Croshield to ensure the Diamond Armour is bulletproof to Nato standards.
It’s the first suit to incorporate air conditioning to ensure businessmen remain cool in warm climates. At the press of a button, humidified water circulates around the suit to keep the wearer cool.
There’s also contactless 'tap and pay' gloves which have been developed by Barclaycard.
People will be able to pay using the woollen gloves in the same way that they would use their card to make a contactless payment when in a shop.