Usually we have to choose between high-tech clothing and classic Americana workwear style. Modern smartwatches might be useful, but they don’t exactly match your rugged sense of style. But thanks to a partnership between Levi’s and Google’s, we’re about to have our cake and it eat it too.
The two companies unveiled the Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket during SXSW 2017 in Austin, according to Mashable. The classic denim jacket has a touchpad built into the left sleeve, and is made with urban bikers in mind. (We’ll add that to our list of what to wear on a bike commute.)
Cyclists just need to tap or swipe the sleeve to access their phone and mobile apps—allowing them to answer calls, play music, and get directions and local restaurant recommendations (without crashing into a taxi). The technology works with Google apps, like Maps, so this jacket favors iPhone users.
The way it works: Google’s Project Jacquard weaves conductive yarns, connectors, and sensor grids (so, a tiny touchpad) into fabrics that brands then sew into clothing. The sensor, which is powered by a rechargeable battery, then transmits data to your phone whenever you touch it.
Levi’s is the first brand to test out the interactive textiles.
“Anyone on a bike knows that navigating your screen while navigating busy city streets isn’t easy – or a particularly good idea,” said Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation for Levi Strauss & Co. “This jacket helps to resolve that real-world challenge by becoming the co-pilot for your life, on and off your bike.”
You’ll be able to scoop up the high-tech jacket later this fall for $350, but until then, you can satisfy your denim craving with one of these not-so-blue jackets. Or, maybe we can interest you in another innovation in style: a tie made entirely from spiders’ silk.