Google’s “connected clothing” venture, Jacquard, just released the sleek Cit-e backpack in collaboration with Saint Laurent.
It’s the company’s latest attempt to bring connected fashion to the people — or at least to the wealthier people — and comes on the coattails of the smart commuter jacket they made with Levi’s a couple of years back.
Connected clothing is on the rise, with brands making everything from apparel that tracks fitness levels to smart socks that monitor babies’ breathing.
The Cit-e backpack aims to make your life easier
The pack’s brains come from the Jacquard Tag, a mini computer that lives in the left strap. The tag pairs with the Jacquard app on your phone and renders a series of hand motions, programmed by you, into directives the app can carry out.
You can, for example, get a rundown on the news, your commute, and the weather as well as snap a selfie with the wave of a hand. At $995, this backpack isn’t exactly affordable for the masses. But Google plans to release more affordable threads in the future, CNET reports.
Google’s not the only outfit with skin in the connected-clothing game
Lots of connected clothing brands want to sell you stuff, and many of the products out there focus on health and fitness.
Wearable X makes smart yoga pants that guide you through your yoga practice via haptic pulses; ambiotex and Athos sell shirts that track fitness levels and muscle use; and Spinali Design makes bikinis that monitor UV levels.
The smart-clothing industry is on the rise, with shipments projected to see a 76% compound annual growth rate between 2017 and 2021. So expect to see more futuristic threads come to market soon.