U.S. Markets closed

I tried the new smart jacket by Levi's and Google, and it changed my morning commute

Photo: Courtesy of Levi’s; art: Quinn Lemmers for Yahoo Lifestyle

Yahoo Lifestyle would like to introduce you to #TheCurrent, a new column by Fashion Editor Julie Tong, in which she gives her stamp of approval to some of the latest fashion products and launches. 

If you, like me, are one of millions of commuters across the country who bike, take the train, or walk to work, I have exciting news. My favorite denim brand, Levi’s, has partnered with Google to unveil their newest tech-savvy jacket. Its official name is the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google, and it will completely change how you go about your daily commute.

At first I was excited about the jacket, but skeptical and a little confused — until I tried it myself.

So, what is Jacquard and how does it work? Essentially, Google developed a conductive textile technology called Jacquard, which provides connectivity between the Levi’s jacket and your phone’s digital functions — such as music control, navigation, and message/call alerts. The Jacquard technology is woven directly into the left sleeve of the jacket.

Through a Bluetooth-activated “Jacquard snap tag” (see image below), the piece of hardware is hardly noticeable when worn (it looks like a button) and allows seamless linkage between your jacket and your phone; all it requires is the Jacquard app and a quick setup once Bluetooth is activated.

The Jacquard snap tag from the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google. (Photo: Courtesy of Levi’s)

The jacket is mainly activated by four specific hand gestures: brushing your hand downward on the sleeve’s left cuff, brushing your hand upward, double tapping, and covering the cuff with your hand.

Through these simple gestures, you can customize each hand movement to a specific function — to play, pause, or skip a song. You can even set a gesture to give you the next direction to your destination if you’re in transit.

The Jacquard App screen. (Photo: Courtesy of Levi’s)
The Jacquard app screen. (Photo: Julie Tong)

I know it’s difficult to imagine how this all works together without seeing it in action, so here’s a quick video of me using the jacket to pause, play, and skip my music:

Video: Julie Tong

Aside from music controls, you can use the gestures to direct incoming calls to voicemail and have your incoming texts read aloud to you.

The jacket is designed with the daily commuter in mind, though I think it’s more heavily geared toward bicyclists. It features reflective accents for nighttime biking, stretch paneling on the shoulders, back ventilation for extra comfort, and even storm cuffs for those wind-chilling days.

As someone who loves her denim jackets but hates the idea of wearing something that looks anything like a piece of tech, I think this is huge. It’s a great solution for a person who is always on the go but wants a more seamless way of staying connected, without interruption.

More and more we’re seeing the bridge between fashion and technology continue to strengthen without sacrificing style. Take for example, the rise of hybrid smartwatches or Claire Danes’s showstopping glow-in-the-dark gown by Zac Posen at the 2016 Met Gala.

As technology keeps progressing, I’m certain this won’t be the last time we see fashionable “wearable tech.”

See all of the jacket’s features in action in the video below. If you’re interested in purchasing the jacket, it is a bit pricey: It retails for $350. But if you’re wearing it every day, the cost just might be worth it. Shop it now on levi.com.

Video: Courtesy of Levi’s

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

The complete Fashion Week trend guide for Spring 2018
Why is Jennifer Lawrence wearing a wedding dress?
Size 14 model called ‘an icon for a new generation of girls’ after walking in India Fashion Week

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.