TYPICALLY WHEN YOU say you're "updating your wardrobe" it means you're getting rid of some truly hideous items you never wear or no longer fit. In Google's case, it's a bit more literal, and the company has just announced an update for Project Jacquard - the jacket it made in collaboration with Levi.
Now if you try and leave the house without your phone, your jacket will warn you. What a time to be alive.
The feature, called "Always Together" which sounds twee enough to be a Hallmark card or a boy band album - actually works both ways. If the jacket and the phone get too far apart, you'll get a notification on your phone and the sleeve tag will vibrate and blink. That's certainly better than the previous ‘find my phone' functionality which would cause your handset to ring at full volume when you made a specific gesture in the jacket.
The potential for setting it off by accident sounds enormous, although the idea of having an emergency gesture to get you out of difficult conversations does sound kind of appealing.
But even if you do think this feature sounds useful - genuinely useful rather than merely a neat talking point - you're still paying rather a lot for it. Project Jacquard goes for $350 or around £275: an outlay that lets you operate your phone with a swipe of the sleeve, rather than having to actually fish around in your pockets like a pauper.
Of course, an alert when your phone and jacket get separated also means you're going to get messaged whenever you opt not to wear a coat. That's right: in 2018, managing the feelings of needy clothes is actually a ridiculous reality. µ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked