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Wearable tech - Google and Levi's collaborate on 'smart' cycling jacket

Taps and swipes on special fabric relayed to phone via Bluetooth

A year after they announced their Project Jacquard collaboration to develop clothing that is integrated with technology, Levi’s and Google have unveiled the first product from the partnership to see the light of day.

Aimed chiefly at bike riders, the Levi's Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket’s denim fabric allows cyclists to send commands to their phone by making swipes and taps, without the need to take the device out of the pocket.

The clothing firm and tech giant say will improve their safety, reports Android Authority - although one hand needs to be taken off the handlebars to ake the gestures.

The video above, released on Friday at the Google I/O 2016 developer conference, shows how the jacket works, as well as a cyclist using it.

A sensor on the jacket recognises taps and swipes made on the fabric, which has conductive threads that track the gestures, with the commands – such as ignoring a phone call or skipping to the next song – relayed to the phone via Bluetooth.

Set to undergo Beta testing later this year, the garment is expected to be on sale to the public from Spring 2017.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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