Google & Levi’s smart jacket: Genius or wearable tech gone mad?

Last year at Google I/O, the Mountain View firm revealed it was teaming up with Levi’s to create a smart clothing line. Today we learned a little more about the first fruits of the partnership; a specially-woven jacket that can control your smartphone via gestures.

The Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket, to give it its full name, features a small, unorthodox weave within the jacket’s cuff that looks like something you’d pick up in a TK Maxx seconds’ sale.

However, the ‘error’ is quite deliberate. This conductive material is sensitive to touch, meaning users can control their smartphone using gestures.

Google Levis

It is designed for urban cyclists, who can seek directions, turn down music, and reject or accept phone calls without pulling the smartphones out of their pocket.

Wearers will be able to configure exactly which gestures work with which applications, Google says.

The piece of stitching works alongside a Bluetooth clip that sends the information and commands to the smartphone.

There’ll be a beta test of the jacket, which is as tough as regular Levi’s denim and doesn’t require any special treatments or cleaning practices, before it goes on sale to commuters during the spring of 2017.

You can see the jacket in action in the video below. Will you be ordering one? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.