Google and Samsonite launch the first connected backpack

Google and Samsonite launch the first connected backpack

Starting at $ 200, this backpack incorporates Google’s Jacquard chip. It brings connectivity to any textile accessory (jacket, backpack …). It is by performing gestures on the strap of the bag that we control the mobile connected via Bluetooth.

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The Jacquard chip is talking about it again. It is not this technique which consists in weaving patterns on a textile, but a chip designed by Google and which is intended to bring connectivity to clothing and fabric accessories. Futura had already mentioned this project launched by the Internet giant in 2015. At the beginning of the year, he was equipping jackets from the Levi’s brand. With this chip, connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone, it was then possible to control the mobile by making gestures from the sleeve of the jacket.

Today, Google is introducing its chip in backpacks. There was a first attempt with Saint Laurent, on a luxury bag at the high price of 995 dollars, but it is with the Samsonite brand that Google has managed to offer a high-end connected backpack at a higher price. affordable, since it costs less than 200 euros.

In this weird commercial video, it’s a sloth promoting the Konnect-i backpack. © Samsonite, Google

A remote control in the backpack strap

For $ 199, the entry ticket is the Konnect-i Slim model. A small backpack for carrying a notebook. For 20 dollars more, the bag gains in volume and changes its design. Both models are water repellent. In both cases, the backpack incorporates the Jacquard chip in the left strap.

It is by performing gestures on this strap, for example rubbing the fabric from bottom to top or tapping it that we can send commands to the mobile connected via Bluetooth to the bag. With these gestures, it is possible to control the multimedia player of the smartphone, or even take a selfie by triggering the shooting remotely or take calls, for example.

Levi’s: the new Jacquard by Google connected jackets are coming

Posted on 02/14/2020 by Fabrice Auclert

From October 3, it will be possible to purchase one of the two models of connected jackets designed by Levi’s. At the heart of this innovation, the new version of the Jacquard chip that allows you to control your smartphone using gestures made on one of the handles.

So it’s not one but two connected jackets that Levi’s is launching from October, and France is one of the four European countries that will discover this garment of the future. Sold for 200 and 250 dollars respectively in the United States (probably 200 and 250 euros in Europe), the Trucker and Sherpa Trucker models are evolutions of the jacket launched two years ago only in the United States.

The novelty is the evolution of the Jacquard chip signed by Google. Placed at the level of the wrist, in a very discreet way since it is less bulky, it allows you to control your phone by gestures. This device is thus connected via Bluetooth, and the wearer of the jacket can trigger actions based on his gestures.

Pay attention to washing

It’s very gadget, and it necessarily reminds some heroes of anticipation films, but you can take a call or control the sound of the music with arm gestures. The sensor can also vibrate on receipt of a notification, and if you have put on your headphones, you will be able to have the weather forecast, SMS reading or even GPS guidance if you are on a bike or on foot.

And if you leave home without your smartphone, the jacket will warn you that you have forgotten it … On the maintenance side, Google reminds you that you have to remove the device before washing the jacket, and the manufacturer also specifies that the rain may interfere with its operation. Finally, there is the question of the selfie. The jacket apparently allows taking pictures, but one wonders where is the point since the smartphone is supposed to be in a pocket or backpack. Unless the user has smart glasses …

Google authorized to develop its gesture recognition sensors on a large scale

Validated by the US Federal Communications Commission, this radar technology captures finger and hand movements to control devices such as smartphones, watches and soon vehicles from a short distance.

Posted on 07/01/2019 by Fabrice Auclert

In the works for four years, the Soli project will take shape since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced earlier this week that it would grant a waiver to Google to operate its haptic control sensors at power levels above those currently authorized. A derogation whose field of action is extremely wide since Google plans to integrate this technology in smartphones and other mobile terminals, but also in vehicles, and this approval will even allow this device to be used in airplanes without disturbing electronics on board.

Behind the Soli project hides a wireless device allowing the control of devices by hand or finger gestures. It is the most advanced contactless technology since it can allow, for example, to press a virtual switch to launch a function, or to turn a virtual dial to increase or decrease a lighting or a radio, but also to adjust his watch.

A mini chip that detects a gesture and transforms it into a command

According to Reuters, if the FCC has given its approval, it is because it believes that the Soli project “would serve the public interest by providing innovative functions to control devices using contactless hand gesture technology.” Especially for people with speech or mobility impairments when they are unable to press a touch screen or turn a button or key in a lock.

Integrated into a watch, door or radio, this chip remotely recognizes hand gestures such as a rotation or pinching. © Google

Concretely, this Soli project takes the form of a small radar chip of less than 10 mm on the side which will be able to operate wirelessly in a radio spectrum between 57 to 64 GHz. This radar therefore operates continuously with an accuracy of 10,000 images per second, and as soon as the fingers or the hand cross the radio waves, the chip records the gesture and translates it into a command. It is the same principle as the Leap Motion, but with a field of application which is not limited to game consoles or computers since the chip is much smaller, and therefore can be integrated into all types of devices.

Jacquard Project: Google and Levi’s connected jacket is on sale

Article by Marc Zaffagni published on 09/26/2017

More than a year after its presentation, the connected jacket designed by Google and Levi’s is finally available for sale across the Atlantic. It costs 350 dollars and allows you to control some functions of a smartphone by touching the left sleeve. But be careful, you can only wash it ten times …

Last March, Google and Levi’s announced for the fall the marketing of their connected jacket called Levi’s Commuter Trucker. Here it is available for sale, in the United States for the moment, at a price of 350 dollars (a little less than 300 euros at the current price). A high price for a denim jacket, especially since the unconnected version of this garment costs only 148 dollars … But it is anyway a niche product, which is aimed at a clientele tech-savvy ready to put her hand in her pocket for the very latest.

The Levi’s Commuter Trucker incorporates technology from Google’s Jacquard Project. It is a fabric composed of conductive threads that can detect gestures and allow interactions with a smartphone connected by a Bluetooth link. The touch zone is here placed on the upper part of the left sleeve, which is connected to a small Bluetooth module which ensures the connection with the mobile and transmits notifications by an indicator light and vibrations.

The Levi’s Commuter Trucker recognizes four types of gestures

Compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, the connected jacket allows you to control the music player, browse the Web by voice guidance, accept or decline a call and request the voice reading of an SMS, all using a hands-on kit free. The touchscreen recognizes four types of gestures that can be configured for the available actions. The Levi’s Commuter Truckers are primarily aimed at people on bicycles or pedestrians who don’t want to take their smartphone out of their pocket.

A very small clientele who will have to be careful not to soil the jacket too much. Indeed, as Google indicates in its maintenance recommendations for the product, the Levi’s Commuter Trucker is designed to withstand ten machine washes. Dry cleaning is prohibited and you must avoid placing an iron on the left sleeve, otherwise the conductors will be damaged. All the same, quite annoying for a jacket designed for cyclists who have to sweat during the effort …

Jacquard Project: the connected jacket from Google and Levi’s available this fall

Article by Marc Zaffagni, published on 03/15/2017

Developed in partnership between Google and Levi’s, the Levi’s Commuter connected jacket will allow you to control certain functions of a smartphone by making gestures on the sleeve of the garment.

Just under two years ago, Google partnered with clothing brand Levi’s in the Jacquard Project to create conductive loom yarn to make a fabric capable of responding to touch. The idea was to be able to produce connected clothing in which certain areas could serve as a touch interface to control smartphone functions via a wireless link.

The fruit of this work is about to materialize with the announced release of a Levi’s jacket based on this technology. The Levi’s Commuter will be marketed next fall for a price of 350 dollars (around 330 euros at the current price). Expensive for a denim jacket, except that it will allow you to interact with your smartphone without having to take it in hand.

Levi’s Commuter jacket still offers few functions

In the left sleeve, above the wrist, an area made of about fifteen conductive wires sensitive to touch is connected to a small Bluetooth box attached to the fabric. The latter is connected to a smartphone with which the user can interact with gestures made on the touch zone of the jacket: control the music player, take or refuse a call with a hands-free kit, consult the time in voice form … The Levi’s Commuter is aimed at people who travel by bike or in public transport, headphones screwed into their ears.

An Android application called the Jacquard project will allow you to select the type of controls you want to configure. In addition, a programming interface (API) will soon be made available to developers so that they can invent new gesture controls. Because the first uses described are not exceptional and are similar to what connected watches already offer.

However, the latter have so far failed to convince of their usefulness. However, the interface of this connected jacket itself has potential and it is certainly the dedicated applications that will make it succeed or fail.

With Jacquard and Soli, Google wants to invest in our clothes

Article by Marc Zaffagni, published 06/06/2015

At its annual conference, Google unveiled two new research and development projects dedicated to clothing and connected objects. The Jacquard project is based on a conductive weaving yarn that allows tactile zones to be inserted directly into a garment. For its part, the Soli project is a miniature radar capable of capturing finger movements to control, for example, the interface of a watch.

After glasses and connected lenses, Google is now interested in clothing. The American giant took advantage of its annual Google I / 0 conference to present the latest work in progress within its ATAP (Advanced Technology And Projects) group, to which we owe in particular the Tango (real-time 3D modeling) and Ara (smartphone) programs. modular).

Among the new products presented is first of all the Jacquard project, which is based on the use of a conductive thread to make fabric sensitive to touch. Google has teamed up with North American jeans brand Levi’s to develop this concept. The yarn in question incorporates copper fibers and can be made from any material commonly used in the textile industry (cotton, polyester or silk) and in any color. Above all, this yarn is compatible with existing industrial weaving processes, which will facilitate its adoption by manufacturers.

The idea is to create clothes where certain areas are touch sensitive, much like the touchpad on a laptop. This interface could be used to control the functions of a smartphone or a watch connected by a wireless link. For this, the Jacquard project is also working on the miniaturization of on-board electronics and in particular of the sensors which can relay tactile interactions. “Jacquard is a blank canvas for the fashion industry. Designers can use it as they would with any fabric, adding functionality to their design without having to know electronics, ”says Google.

The creation of the conductive fabric is an important step but the main challenge concerns the miniaturization and integration of electronic components and especially of the power system. At the moment, it’s about batteries. But Carsten Schwesig, head of the Jacquard project, said that this fabric is low in energy demand, a connected garment could work several days before needing to be recharged. The creator is also focusing on developments in energy recovery which will allow the creation of self-sufficient equipment.

A miniature high-precision radar

Beyond clothing, Google is considering other applications for this type of interactive fabric. It could for example be used to incorporate certain functions in the seats of a car or, why not, in the armrest of a sofa. It is also a question of medical equipment, but the American giant did not provide a concrete example.

The second innovation presented during Google I / 0 is the Soli project. It is a miniature radar that emits radio waves to detect hand and finger movements. The system is precise enough to capture varied and subtle gestures such as sliding the index finger on the tip of the thumb to simulate the manipulation of an adjustment knob.

According to engineers from the ATAP group, this motion detection technology would be more efficient than that based on an infrared camera type Leap Motion. Above all, it has the advantage of being much more compact so that it can be incorporated into small electronic devices. Google notably plans to integrate it into connected watches in order to offer a more practical control interface than that offered by small touch screens. It could also be used with smartphones and tablets. As usual, Google is not moving forward on an introduction date for these projects.

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