Finally, Wearable Tech We’d Actually Wear

Your denim jacket is about to redefine the hands-free mobile experience. Project Jacquard is the name for what Google hopes will be a mainstay of wearable technology. The vision is that denim and electronics will play together so nicely that you’ll hardly ever have to take your phone out of your pocket again. Instead, you’ll just rub your hand on your sleeve in a way that tells your smartphone what you want it to do. That’s right — you too can go for a bike ride and effortlessly ignore a phone call from your boss, just like the cyclist in the video (though we'd also suggest wearing a helmet).

Here's how it works: Using electrically conductive threads that are indistinguishable from the yarns that constitute your regular clothing, Project Jacquard brings touch sensitivity and gesture controls for your smartphone to your jean jacket. These threads are the secret ingredient that work in conjunction with a rechargeable USB dongle (that looks and works exactly like a sleeve button) to house the minimal electronics necessary to bring this functionality to life. Your jacket will still look and function as a denim jacket.

Google first trotted out this technology at its I/O conference last year, but it was rudimentary, nothing to write home about just yet. This year’s conference saw an updated design on display, and it’s nothing less than a viable product for the market. Google partnered with Levi's to bring this tech-enabled jacket into the real world. You can’t buy it yet, but you can sign up to receive updates.

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