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Levi's Partners With Google On Wearable Technology

May 29, 2015 03:20 PM EDT
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(Photo : Instagram/levis ) Google Inc. tapped Levi Strauss & Co. to help launch Project Jacquard — which aims to put smartwatches and smart glasses technology into woven fabrics.

Google Inc. tapped Levi Strauss & Co. to help launch Project Jacquard — which aims to put smartwatches and smart glasses technology into woven fabrics.

Google and a Japanese firm have already developed conductive fibers, which can be integrated into essentially any type of woven textile without affecting the loom, WWD reported. 

"When it came to choosing a first partner for Project Jacquard, the Levi's brand was a natural fit," Ivan Poupyrev, a Technical Product Lead for Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group, said on the Levi's website.

"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," Poupyrev said. 

Levi's reportedly hopes to launch the Project Jacquard products before the fall 2016 season.

"Levi's has always stayed true to our iconic products, while continuing to introduce innovations that address the current challenges of modern life," Paul Dillinger, vice president of innovation for the Levi's brand, said on Friday morning at Google's developers' conference.

"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," Dillinger said. 

Google did not identify the Japanese company that developed the conductive yarns, which are available in different widths and colors. 

"As far as yarn thickness goes, we're not almost in the same ballpark," Dillinger told WWD. "We are already in the same ballpark. Google has accepted the supply chain for what it is and there's no modification for any of the looms as we've been working with this."

"Fundamentally, this is empowering the garment as a platform, not the garment as a device," he added.

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