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Blog | Interactive denim jacket operates smartphone | EP&C

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Google and Levi's are bringing a denim jacket onto the market that acts as a touch screen. It is the perfect solution for cyclists who cannot do without the functions of their smartphone.

The person wearing the jacket can operate his mobile phone by tapping and swiping areas of the item of clothing specially designed for this purpose and which have conductive alloys woven into the fabric that register and transmit touches and gestures to the mobile phone. This makes the jacket a remote control with a touch screen.

Planning a route

A swipe over the arm will play the next track on a playlist, for instance, and a short tap will activate the pause button. Similarly, it is possible to issue instructions, such as plan a route or read a notification by 'drawing' figures on the fabric, for instance. Clothes with sensors already exist. What makes this denim jacket innovative is that it works like a touchscreen. The technology was developed by Google under the name Jacquard. The company is also going to supply the connective and interactive fabric to other clothing brands.

Machine washable

The denim jacket by Levi's is the first product to come onto the market this year. The Jacquard project expects that the number of functions of touch-sensitive fabric will continue to increase. The Levi's jacket is going to cost USD 350. It is machine washable because the tag with electronics used to charge it, can simply be removed.