Google and Levi’s have announced a new version of the Jacquard-connected jean jacket that’s much more affordable and arrives with a number of new features.
The big news for British Levi’s loyalists is the Trucker jacket and its fancier Sherpa-lined Trucker are going to be available in the UK. Levi’s is asking just £140 ($198) for the second-gen jacket, while the Sherpa-lined edition is £160 ($248). That’s much cheaper than the $350 Levi’s wanted for the original.
The main event is, of course, the washable Bluetooth-based tag, which is attached to a sleeve cuff, and the interactive yarn on the sleeve itself. The duo offers gesture based controls of a burgeoning range of smartphone functionality, via specific taps and swipes of the sleeve.
Among the new features are the ability to check the weather or calendars. That’s as well us benefiting from music controls, Google Maps directions and the ability to manage phone calls and messages. The Bluetooth tag also syncs with your headphones enabling the messages, calls and directions to be delivered via the ear.
Related: Best smartwatch 2019
It can now be used as a camera trigger, with the tag blinking and vibrating when the phone camera has been activated. Meanwhile, there’s also a helpful alert when the wearer may have left his jacket behind. Wired reports these features will be added to the original version of the jacket too.
The 2.0 version does have a couple of major advantages though. It can now handle 30 washes (compared with ten on the original jacket) and has a longer battery life. This dongle will also be transportable to other devices with the Jacquard technology stitched in to the sleeves or straps.
As well as the new Levi’s jacket, Google has also brought the Jacquard 2.0 tech to an Yves Saint Laurent backpack, but that’s considerably more expensive at $698.
There’s no news on when the Commuter jacket 2 will go on sale in the UK, but it’ll also be available in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and the US.