If you want to be both fashionable and connected to the internet while riding your bike, Google has just the thing for you.
The tech giant announced in a blog post Monday that it's releasing a smart denim jacket. The Commuter Trucker Jacket, made in partnership with Levi's, provides directions or reads your texts to you when you perform an action, like swiping the sleeve.
Of course, you'll need to be in close range of your phone, and be wearing a pair of headphones that's connected to that phone. The jacket is geared primarily toward cyclists, who perhaps might need a message read to them on the way to work (or can't stand to be disconnected while commuting). Sensors embedded into the sleeve will vibrate and glow lightly when a text comes through, and the rider can have the text read to them with a tap or swipe of the cuff. The wearer can also raise or lower the volume of their music, skip tracks, and be verbally alerted about when to turn.
The jacket could be useful to drivers, too, though Google isn't marketing it that way. Any kind of distracted driving, of course, increases the level of danger, whether behind the wheel of a car or the handlebars of a bicycle.
In case you, like most humans, sweat while you bike, the jacket is washable. You'll need to remove the tag that runs along the cuff--a feature that, while attached, seems to be the only giveaway that this isn't a regular jacket.
That said, the jacket is certainly priced like a piece of technology: It will set you back $350. It will be available at a select few high-end clothing boutiques in three cities starting Wednesday. Its wider launch comes next week, when it will be available through the Levi's website or in its stores.
The jacket is Google's first foray into connected clothing--a trend that hasn't caught on quite in the way that wearables like Fitbits have. (Fitbit pulled in $2.2 billion in revenue in 2016; meanwhile the entire smart clothing global market was $1.5 billion in 2016, according to market research company Statista.) Whether Google's first offering gets any traction remains to be seen, but it could be a good barometer of the likelihood of a future market.
Regardless, it seems this won't be Google's only effort in the wearable space: The company revealed that the jacket is only the first product to use Jacquard, a new smart clothing platform. The software was built by Google's Advanced Technology and Projects unit.
The company first announced that it was developing the jacket at last year's Google I/O conference. Until its wider launch, it will be sold at shops in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Boston.