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product technology

Levi’s updates its Google smart jacket with Uber, Lyft and Bose features

Google x Levi's Project Jacquard
Google x Levi’s Project Jacquard

Levi’s has announced its first update on its Project Jacquard smart jacket developed in collaboration with Google, including the ability to work with ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft, and Bose headphones.

Although at this point users won’t be able to order a car through the jacket, once connected to the Uber or Lyft apps, it will notify them that their ride is three minutes away and do so again once it arrives via its cuff, which will light up and vibrate. Brushing the cuff will also enable real-time updates on the car’s whereabouts via connected headphones.

Google x Levi's Project Jacquard
Google x Levi’s Project Jacquard

The jacket now also supports Bose’s Aware Mode, which picks up any surrounding sounds and sends them to the user’s headphones. This enables users who are listening to music while on the go to still enjoy noise reduction, but be able to hear any important things happening around them – in a cyclist’s or pedestrian’s case, this could mean a horn or a fast-approaching vehicle. Bose users will also be able to turn their headphones on or off via hand gesture.

Another new jacket feature enables users to drop a pin on the map to save a location and then see and share that from the app’s activity screen.

At a conference in California in October 2017, Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh hinted at upcoming innovations by stating that if there is a feature that doesn’t require a screen, it is possible that it could be incorporated into the commuter jacket’s 2.0 version. By approaching it with that mindset, the company can potentially investigate the future of smart clothing beyond cyclists, which was its initial target audience with the Google partnership.

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Editor's pick product technology

Ministry of Supply introduces AI-enabled heated jacket

Ministry of Supply's intelligent heated jacket
Ministry of Supply’s intelligent heated jacket

US performance label Ministry of Supply has launched an intelligent heated jacket that uses machine learning to adjust the garment’s temperature.

The Mercury jacket creates a microclimate optimized to the wearer’s body by using a custom microcontroller heating system to heat up carbon-fiber heating pads sewn in the garment’s lining. The system takes in to consideration the weather and body temperature, motion data, and user preference to modulate power. For example, when walking to a train stop the jacket senses temperatures and an elevating heart rate, as well as user behaviour learnt through time, to regulate the system.

The machine learning element ensures that the more feedback the user gives its accompanying app, the better the system gets at learning their preferences. Meanwhile an added voice element allows wearers to naturally activate the jacket through a smart assistant like Amazon Alexa.

Ministry of Supply's Mercury Jacket
Ministry of Supply’s Mercury Jacket

“Our mission is to invent clothing that blends form and functionality — and temperature regulation is one of the most important factors in comfort,” says the brand’s team. “We’re excited to present our vision of what wearable technology can become, not just a way to monitor our vitals – but also act on it allowing us to become more comfortable and capable because of it. The Intelligent Heated Jacket is just that literally putting a learning thermostat in your jacket.”

Since Ministry of Supply’s inception, it has approached clothing through a human-centric, design-led methodology that takes into consideration both aesthetic and function. The jacket has been developed to replace any other outerwear alternative.

The jacket’s production is being crowdfunded via a campaign on Kickstarter. Since its launch yesterday (February 21) the jacket has trebled its original donations goal, to reach over $150K in pledges.

This is Ministry of Supply’s third successful Kickstarter campaign. In 2012, it launched the Apollo shirt, which controls body temperature after raising over $400K. Following that, the Atlas socks, which are made out of coffee beans that filter out sweat, raised over $200K or its $30K goal.

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What you missed: Farfetch photography, questioning Everlane’s transparency, Amazon as the largest apparel seller

Farfetch digital shoot listings fashion retail technology
Farfetch

The Wall Street Journal has a deep-dive story on just what it takes to produce all the imagery for Farfetch’s listed boutiques. Every weekday, it posts an average of more than 1,000 new listings, each with at least five different photographs. Alongside that, perhaps appropriately, comes a new set of stats about Amazon, proving the fact it’s expected to surpass Macy’s to become the biggest apparel seller in the US next year.

Sustainability is also top of mind within the industry of late, with lots of ongoing thoughts around Everlane’s transparency claims and Patagonia’s slow fashion aims. Also worth reading this week are various Snapchat campaigns, not to mention some insights on the pros and cons of retail technology. Don’t forget to also sign up for our Snapchat Masterclass before the early bird rate ends on Oct 31.


TOP STORIES
  • Where luxury fashion is a high-speed, high-volume business – on site with the photography crew at Farfetch [WSJ]
  • Radical transparency: Are H&M and Zara actually more transparent than Everlane? [The Fashion Law]
  • Amazon is expected to surpass Macy’s to become the biggest apparel seller in the US next year [Business Insider]
  • Vine video-sharing app to be shut down by Twitter [The Guardian]
  • Alibaba takes Singles’ Day to global buyers, sellers [China Daily]

BUSINESS
  • Sales surge at Kering’s Gucci, slip at sister brand [Yahoo]
  • American innovation: 5 questions with Shinola CMO Bridget Russo [BrandChannel]
  • How Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney plans to grow the brand into the next Nike [Fashionista]
  • In an age of fast fashion, Patagonia is going slow [Yahoo]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Following the screenshots: How Topshop is hacking Snapchat [Digiday]
  • Everlane’s social strategy: drive community engagement, not sales [Glossy]
  • Why Snapchat is winning out over Pinterest for River Island [The Drum]
  • H&M and Kenzo leverage iOS iMessage integration [Glossy]

ADVERTISING
  • REI’s ‘#OptOutside’ returns, and other brands have joined to help make it a new American tradition [Creativity]
  • Target channels Hamilton and The Nutcracker for holiday campaign aimed at Hispanic shoppers [AdWeek]

RETAIL
  • How AI is helping retailers [Venture Beat]
  • When it comes to retail technology, the industry is ‘just getting started’ [NRF]
  • Retail websites pile on the ad tech, but may be repeating publishers’ mistakes [AdAge]
  • Understanding China’s e-commerce and Internet sectors: A guide for global retailers [FBIC]
  • Why Alibaba just staged an 8-hour fashion show [Fortune]

TECHNOLOGY
  • This connected jacket provides VIP access to exclusive NYC experiences, demos future of the Internet of Things [Forbes]
  • The gift and the curse of 3D printing and the legislation we can expect [The Fashion Law]
  • You can now get styled by a fashion-savvy algorithm [Quartz]
  • Google Voice Search comparison-shops on mobile, creating audio ad opportunity [MediaPost]

START-UPS
  • How the Techstars + Target accelerator transformed retail start-up Blueprint Registry [Retail Dive]
  • Is Silicon Valley taking menswear more seriously? [Fast Company]
  • At ThirdLove, just one area of innovation isn’t enough [Medium]

UPCOMING EVENTS