This Guy Finds the Levi’s Tech Jacket Exciting #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #tech
The tech infused Levi’s Trucker Jacket has been getting a ton of publicity, so it’s refreshing to see a post on Digital Trends from someone that has actually given it a test drive. Julian Chokkattu provides the most detail I’ve seen on the wearable, including a reminder of the history of tech jackets. You probably know the connected Levi’s jacket is a collaboration with Google’s Project Jacquard. What makes it special is the fact that it can send commands with gesture control and provide haptic feedback without looking like an Ironman suit. According to Julian, the jacket uses special fabric at the cuff creating a touch sensor that interacts with the plastic controller unit.
The tag is quite large because it houses a lot of necessary components, such as a haptic motor, the LED, a motion sensor, Bluetooth, as well as the battery to keep it all alive. Once it’s all connected and paired to your smartphone via the Jacquard app — a quick and easy setup process — you can use a handful of touch gestures on the cuff to control actions on your smartphone.
Like a visit from a genie, you get three “wishes” or gestures. So, you can choose an upward swipe, downward swipe and double tap. If you are an Arduino lover, you might consider it similar to mapping keys for a game controller. Of course you decide which apps or services you want to trigger.
With the Jacquard Commuter Jacket, you can do things like control music playback, ask for the next direction (and the ETA) while using a navigation app, find your phone, and more — helpful functions that are seamlessly embedded into our clothing so we don’t need to disrupt our attention by pulling out a smartphone.
Julian offers a positive review while also mentioning limitations of the tech and opportunities for growth. So, be sure to check out his post. Hopefully you are inspired to do your own jacket hack, and I think Adafruit’s stitchable FLORA microcontroller with its matching Bluefruit module is worth a look. What would you like to control with your sleeve?
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