Wearable Technology: What is LEVI'S® Commuter Jacket?

Thursday, August 10, 2017 by Michael Nuncic

Once upon a time, there were smartwatches… now there is a cyber-jacket

Only a few years have passed since wearable technology first appeared with smart watches.  The sweeping technology continues its trail-blaze with jackets.

The project in question is called Jacquard Project and was developed by Google ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects).

A little backstory

This is the name Google has chosen for a particular weaving system (this weaving system and fabric take its name from the inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard) that allows you to combine electronic yarns with natural yarns. In other words, it is possible to obtain a fabric made of metal alloys and natural elements such as cotton, creating a kind of technological fiber (see more details on https://atap.google.com/jacquard/).

A surface covered with Jacquard fabric becomes sensitive to the touch of the finger.  At this point, the electronic weave detects the input and retransmits it to miniature circuits that are able to send it wirelessly to a smartphone or other device.

It is no longer necessary to interact directly with a smartphone by touching it, all you need now is to brush a sleeve of a jacket in order to send a command.

How the cyber jacket works for cyclists

Levi’s, in partnership with Google, has in fact created the Levi's® Commuter ™ Trucker Jacket that allows those who wear it to stay connected with their smartphone without having to hold it in their hands.

On the Levi's website, the Levi's® Commuter ™ jacket line is collection for the modern urban cyclist. In fact, for those who usually ride on a bicycle to get to work or to move around the city, the jacket greatly reduces distractions caused by a smartphone. Just a brush on the sleeve can fulfill the following:

  • manage calls
  • play music
  • messages
  • agenda
  • Google Maps

You can do this while you are pedaling without having to pull the phone out of your pocket, which reduces the risk of crashing and other dangerous incidents. Control of the various actions takes place by interpreting the gesture. The sensor, which is inside the cuff, detects the hand movements via a Bluetooth transmitter and are sent to the app for installation on the smartphone.

Three types of gestures are recognizable:

  • scrolling from top to bottom
  • scrolling from bottom to top
  • a touch on the cuff

The jacket is useful to anyone who wants to avoid distractions from a smartphone while engaging in other activities. Although containing technological fabric, you can wash the Levi's® Commuter ™ Trucker Jacket by removing the Bluetooth transmitter.


The jacket will be available this fall at a price of around $350.  With the breakthrough of being able to weave electronic fibers with the natural fibers, the jacket is surely only the first of many more wearables to come.