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Google, Levi’s devise jacket to help people with disabilities

A smart jacket by Google and Levi's helps people with disabilities communicate better (IANS)

A connected jacket designed by Google and Levi's has proved to be beneficial for people with disabilities who tried out the apparel.

The connected jacket with woven "Jacquard" technology allows people to connect to their smartphone and use simple gestures to trigger functions from the Jacquard app.

With this interactivity and connectivity built in, one can tap his/her sleeve to hear directions to their next destination or brush their cuff to change the song playing on their compatible music service.

Jacquard by Google is a digital technology platform created for smart apparel, footwear, and other everyday essentials.

Google said it worked with Champions Place, a shared living residence for young adults with disabilities in the greater Atlanta area in the US.

Residents at Champions Place tried out the Jacquard Levi's Commuter Trucker Jacket.

"We discovered that for the residents at Champions Place a connected jacket gave them a simple and unobtrusive way to access technology on the go," Leonardo Giusti, Google Advanced Technology and Projects' (ATAP) Head of Design, wrote in a blog post.

"For example, many residents at Champions Place commonly rely on emergency call solutions — usually a device worn around the neck that lets them quickly call for assistance. Those who use these devices imagined how the connected garment could be used as a discreet and less obtrusive alternative while blending into their daily lives."

One resident trying out the Jacquard connected jackets admitted: "I am not necessarily a jean jacket person. I am thinking it will be useful that I can have a band that can be slipped on, underneath different sleeves or jackets, that way it is not tied to one piece clothing."

Jacquard technology works for phones running Android 6.0.1 or newer and iOS 11 or newer.

"Enhancing everyday objects with digital functionalities can lead to products that are helpful, comfortable, easy-to-use and stylish for everyone – including people with disabilities," Giusti said.