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Google's smart jacket does more, but it's still pretty dumb

Jacket Season.
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

Everything was planned. In the subway home, I rush to the jacquard app, assigning my levi jacket to Google jacquard. Just a double tap on the wrist cuff as I got closer to my apartment and when I walked in through the door, I would be yelling into Touch the Sky from Kanye West. Stupid, vain, and to say the least, but I'm an extra and would be a fun way to announce that I'm home with my pets and partner.


What is it?

Version 2.0 by Google Smart Jacket


$ 200; $ 250 if you want Sherpa lining.


More functionality. Smaller dongle. Sweet jacket.

I don't like

I still have a lot to use on my phone.

It would happen. Except when I double-clicked my cuff, Google Assistant on my phone told me that Spotify was not installed on my Nest Hub. A. I opened the Jacquard app and set it to turn on the Philips Hue lights. I walked in the door to my unimpressed family. I was the last home, so the lights were already on. Complete and complete failure.

This type of episode illustrates the limitations of the second iteration of Google's smart jacket. It is theoretically a good idea, but not so seamless to use in real life. Like its predecessor, this is a stylish, touch-sensitive denim jacket that you can program to do a number of things. The difference is that this time the jungle has been replaced with a smaller marker, and the jacket's capabilities now include Google Assistant commands, camera management, and shared sharing alerts. This is beyond the ability to notify, navigate and control the music of the original. Plus it's a little cheaper at $ 200 ($ 250 if you like Sherpa lining).

The noticeably smaller marker is welcome, as is the expanded feature set and the lower cost. You just can't do many things that couldn't be easier with a phone or even a watch.

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I wore a smart smart jacket from Google for the mediocre future

I sat in the subway and gently put on my denim jacket to skip songs on Spotify, wondering… Is this …

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For starters, you can set only three actions on the touch-sensitive cuff found in the left hand of the jacket. Deleting the cuff with a "make it rain" gesture can play and pause your pause. While you may decide that inserting a cuff should tell you what's on your calendar for the day. A double tap can hear the next direction on your way somewhere. Covering the cuff will always drown out everything. That is.

This may be enough for your daily commute, but it may also not be what you want for a day out in a new neighborhood. In this case, you should remove your phone and reprogram your jacket. Maybe instead of music, deleting is the omission of a Google Map pin, etc., and so on. So a jacket can do a lot more than it used to. He just can't do everything at once. This may be good if you are patient enough to think of the best way to use your jacket every time you leave your house or experiment with what works for you over time. But even then you will inevitably face roadblocks as I tried to make jokes – I announce my arrival at home. Troubleshooting alone is not difficult, but annoying enough to make you want to quit.

The Dong is thankfully smaller. You can also see the sensitive cuff.
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

In addition to the three actions, you can also program the tag for a number of signals. But like actions, you are only limited to three at a time. So if the label is vibrating and its LED light is flashing blue, it could be text from one of three programmable contacts. Blinking green may mean that your driving license (Uber and Lyft only) is nearby and you can log in to hear the make, model, color and license plate of the car. If it's flashing pink, your jacket might have found it lost touch with your phone, which means you left it at home.

That's good in theory. In practice, sometimes I did not notice the disturbing vibrations. Or I get the notification on my phone, Apple Watch and jacket – in that order. Not everyone has a smart watch, but I'm pretty sure everyone has a smartphone at the moment. If you are waiting for your Lyft, it is likely that you can obsessively look at how far the car is on your phone. As for the "always together" feature, half the time my jacket was unplugged from my phone because I was in the subway or for no reason at all. At the concert, the jacket kept telling me that I was missing my phone. It was in my hand the whole time.

The key is smaller but still sticks out. A colleague jokingly asked me if I had stolen my jacket and forgot to remove the sensor.
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

The other snap is that in order for some of these features to work, the corresponding application already has to run in the background. So if you want to control Spotify, you need to make sure that the Spotify and Jacquard application are open. The same goes for the selfie function. If you want to take a selfie with your jacket (because it's the future!), Your camera app needs to be opened. It's best – a little hiccup – but spending a few minutes opening and closing the elevator feels more trouble than it sometimes is.

Wearing a jacket all week long also translates to constantly pulling my phone on to tweak my configuration. This type defeats the goal of a smart jacket that should reduce your reading on your phone when out and about.

To be honest, some of these features are really great. It was nice to hear a little update on my day as I walked to the train station, or spend your cuff discreetly to move on to the next song. It was less cool to tell my friends, 'Hold on guys, I have to re-program my jacket so I can touch the cuff when we take a group selfie. Isn't it cool? Boys? Boys! "It may be my friends who are judgmental madmen, but I received too many eye rolls while talking about the jacket to conveniently use the selfie function.

I made this horrible selfie with my jacket. It's a f u t u r e
Photo: Victoria Song (Gizmodo)

So it's worth betting almost $ 200 for a slightly smarter denim jacket? Ex. I mean, it's a cute denim jacket. I felt dizzy wearing it for about a week. I could also get a dirty Levi's truck jacket at Macy's for $ 65. I won't bother charging it ever (though, honestly, it's been a week since I loaded my first Jacquard marker and I still have over 70 percent battery power). Also, I wouldn't want to remember to remove the tag if I had to wash it.

For $ 200- $ 250 I could easily release them, say, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active or Fitbit Versa 2. I & # 39; d generally get the same features, plus added health features. The only thing I can miss is selfie control, but again, I'm sure there are third-party applications for that. Or, you know, a friend with a longer arm. Maybe a camera timer on my smartphone.

It's not that I think this smart jacket is utterly useless. I'll probably use it to control my music, make calls, and get directions while I'm walking, taking orders. If and when I wear it. And this is the real problem with smart clothing in general – it is in keeping with my vanity and fickle fashion sense. I don't want to wear a denim jacket every day. This is a specific type and I already have a closet full of bombers, leather jackets and dust mites that are no longer worn out. When the next Polar Vortex inevitably arrives, no amount of layers or built-in music controls could convince me to choose this over my hideously puffy coat. Thanks to climate change, the perfect jacket weather in spring and fall is two weeks out of the year. That means 50 weeks a year, this thing will be expensive moth feed.

I, planning my failed Kanye inspired entrance into my head.
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

Still, I liked wearing it at a homemade party this weekend. It was the beginning of a conversation, even if most of my friends weren't sold by idea. A friend said, "Well, it looks cute to you," and inside I pretended to be a peacock. However, I am not rich. Novelty, limited functionality and casual compliments don't necessarily cost $ 200. Then again, maybe I would just be happier if she helped me flawlessly break into the room with some of Kanye's tunes. As it is, I still have to rely on my phone.


  • Less expensive than $ 200 ($ 250 for Sherpa lining).
  • Advanced features include Google Assistant, Rideshare notifications and camera control.
  • is a bit more useful than before, but still a trick.

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