Google and Levi’s Collaborate to Develop Smart Jacket

July 19, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. in collaboration with /in kəˌlæb əˈreɪ ʃən wɪθ/ (phrasal v.) – together with
Example: Google, in collaboration with Levi’s, is developing a smart jacket.

2. embed /ɛmˈbɛd/ (v.) – to be inserted in something
Example: The battery is embedded into the machine.

3. cuff /kʌf/ (n.) – the folded end of a sleeve
Example: His wristwatch is covered by his cuff.

4. cater to /ˈkeɪ tər to/ (phrasal v.) – to provide service
Example: The company will produce new electronic chips to cater to the demands of the market.

5. enthusiast /ɛnˈθu ziˌæst, -ɪst/ (n.) – a person who is very interested in a certain activity
Example: The cycling enthusiast joined three races this month.


Read the text below.
Google, in collaboration with American clothing company Levi’s, is working on a smart jacket targeted for commuters.

The jacket can be classified as wearable technology, a category of gadgets that can be worn by consumers. However, what makes the jacket unique is the fact that it is a form of clothing made “smart” by its technological features. Currently, most wearable technology gadgets in the market are accessories like wristwatches or eyeglasses, not smart clothing.

This product is part of Google’s Project Jacquard [JAK-ahrd], which aims to develop touch-sensitive fabric technology. Electronic chips, which can be removed when the jacket needs to be washed, are embedded in the wearer’s left cuff. This unique feature gives the jacket its “smart” capabilities. The wearer can answer or decline calls, skip songs, and adjust the volume on his or her playlists by tapping or swiping the cuff. 

The jacket works by connecting to a gadget via Bluetooth. It works with smartphone applications like Spotify, Google Maps, and Strava. It was designed to cater to the needs of commuters, particularly those who ride a bicycle.

While Project Jacquard may be one of the biggest names in smart clothing at present, other brands have also been successful in creating innovations in the field. In 2006, Carré Technologies Inc. developed the Hexoskin biometric shirt. It measures the wearer’s heart rate, breathing rate, and acceleration.

Aside from monitoring one’s health, the shirt also has useful applications that gather fitness data, which makes it perfect for fitness enthusiasts.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think this wearable technology will be a hit in your country?
·         If given the chance to improve the jacket, what other features would you add?

Discussion B

·         Do you think innovations like wearable technology is necessary? Why or why not?
·         If you were to create smart clothing, what would it be and why?

July 19, 2016