Project Jacquard, a collaboration between Google and Levi's, is working on ways to make wearables more fashionable and usable

Wearables are no longer just small computers around your wrist—as the technology advances, the term will apply to subtler, more fashionable forms than what is currently available on the market. Project Jacquard, a two-year-old collaboration between jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co. and Google, is striving for just that.

Project Jacquard was on display recently at Première Vision Paris, an international fashion fair featuring up and coming innovations in the wearable space. The show explored concept designs for waterproof jackets equipped with sunscreen bands and phone chargers, jeans that keep your internal body temperature stable, out-of-gym motion tracking and moisture-wicking clothing and, of course, the future-forward fabric known as ‘smart denim.’

Crafted in such a way that its functionality remains invisible, Project Jacquard’s brainchild comprises of denim—for now, in the form of a jacket—with touch-screen control capabilities and stitched-in Bluetooth sensors that connect to your phone.

French company Spinali Design also showed off its line of smart denim at Première Vision Paris, which offers GPS functionality—an especially handy feature for bikers on the move. Simply select your destination, slip your phone into your pocket and your pants will do the guiding by vibrating to signify left or right, respectively, when its time to make a turn.

With smart denim, as with any new technology, there are concerns that require further exploration. As Marion Foret, the fashion products chief for Première Vision Paris, noted, “The consumer demands greater traceability and ecology, especially when it comes to denim because it is a product that is a bit controversial… that doesn’t always carry the best reputation, so textile makers are forced to use more ecological processes.”

Moreover, production practices for tech-embedded clothing have yet to adopt a manufacturing process that ensures the dyes, materials, fit and technology remain up to par in quality and longevity. The need for eco-friendliness further complicates the experimental process, but we will certainly be better off in the long run for it. Be sure to keep an eye out for smart clothing items as they begin to pop up in stores across the globe. The Project Jacquard denim jacket from Levi’s is due for release this year.

Project Jacquard | Spinali Design


Lead image: Project Jacquard

Wearables are no longer just small computers around your wrist—as the technology advances, the term will apply to subtler, more fashionable forms than what is currently available on the market. Project Jacquard, a two-year-old collaboration between jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co. and Google, is striving for just that.

Project Jacquard was on display recently at Première Vision Paris, an international fashion fair featuring up and coming innovations in the wearable space. The show explored concept designs for waterproof jackets equipped with sunscreen bands and phone chargers, jeans that keep your internal body temperature stable, out-of-gym motion tracking and moisture-wicking clothing and, of course, the future-forward fabric known as ‘smart denim.’