The jacket in question – named Jacquard – was designed by Google Creative Labs London in collaboration with Levi’s and features a touch-sensitive cuff which connects the active cyclist with their Android phones.
It’s a great innovation because as you know, weaving in and out between taxis that are trying their hardest to eliminate you from the gene pool and trying to avoid distracted soccer moms in larger-than-necessary 4x4s while trying to find your favourite Mumford & Sons lullaby, can be tricky.
Behind the scenes of Project Jacquard
Project Jacquard is a new system for weaving technology into fabric, transforming everyday objects, like clothes, into interactive surfaces. Project Jacquard will allow designers and developers to build connected, touch-sensitive textiles into their own products…more…
At this stage it seems like the jacket is an early prototype with large scale production happening only later in 2017, but what it does indicate is that Google is serious about wearable technology and making sure that you have every single opportunity possible to access your phone, no matter what physical activity you may find yourself doing.
Interesting too is that Google are actively exploring avenues outside of the digital realm. By winning a physical product design Grand Prix at a festival like Cannes, Google will naturally have pricked the ears and interests of industrial designers the world over. That will either result in more of a focus on wearables by other ‘design skunkworks operations’ in the future; or even more innovation coming out of this lab.
There may be design fame and glory in a cycling wearable for now, but this is surely just the beginning.