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Google and Levi’s come together to unravel wearable technology

The goal of the new project is to confront the historical limitations of wearable technologies by decoupling the touch interface from the digital device.

2nd June 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  San Francisco, CA

Clothing/​Footwear, Interiors, Sports/​Outdoor

Two iconic innovators, Google, a technology juggernaut, and Levi’s, a leading jeans maker, are embarking on a new project together.

At the Google I/O 2015 that took place in San Francisco, CA, last week, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group unveiled Project Jacquard and named the Levi’s brand its first official partner.

Paul Dillinger takes the stage at Google I/O. © Levi Strauss & Co.

The goal of the new Google’s Project Jacquard is to confront the historical limitations of wearable technologies by decoupling the touch interface from the digital device.

Interactive garments

Jacquard makes garments interactive — simple gestures like tapping or swiping send a wireless signal to the wearer’s mobile device and activate functionality, such as silencing phone calls or sending a text message.

“When it came to choosing a first partner for Project Jacquard, the Levi’s brand was a natural fit,” said Ivan Poupyrev, a Technical Product Lead (TPL) for Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group.

Jacquard makes garments interactive and allows sending a wireless signal to the wearer’s mobile device and activate functionality. © Levi Strauss & Co.

“Levi’s is an iconic brand with deep Bay area roots — authentic and also highly innovative and fashionable. Levi’s brings to Jacquard their deep knowledge and understanding of apparel, their consumers and what they value.”

Emotional, aspirational and functional

“Levi’s has always stayed true to our iconic products, while continuing to introduce innovations that address the current challenges of modern life,” said Paul Dillinger, Head of Global Product Innovation.

“In our hyper-digital world, people constantly struggle to be physically present in their environment while maintaining a digital connection. The work that Google and Levi’s are embarking upon with Project Jacquard delivers an entirely new value to consumers with apparel that is emotional, aspirational and functional.”

Levi’s history of innovation

The Levi Strauss & Co. innovation story began with the invention of the blue jean 142 years ago. From the debut of the first jeans for women in 1934 to the revolutionary work that goes on in the company’s Eureka Innovation Lab today, Levi’s is constantly innovating to give the customers clothes that make their lives better and easier.

For example, in 1937, the brand introduced a concealed back-pocket rivet in response to consumers who complained their jeans were scratching their furniture and saddles. In the 1940s, it launched a Levi’s 501 jean with a zipper fly (called the 501Z) for new-to-Levi’s consumers in the eastern US unaccustomed to the traditional button-fly.

In the 1960s, the company incorporated nylon into its pants, creating an early version of today’s stretch jeans and it introduced the 606 Super Slims, a precursor to today’s skinny jeans.

www.levistrauss.com

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