We are officially in the dog days of summer, and that usually means strategically dashing from one air-conditioned space to the next. But what if we didn’t have to bow down to the whims of the scorching midday sun? Well, apparently Sony is crowdfunding a portable wearable air conditioner/heater so you can flip the bird to mother nature and live your best, climate-controlled life.
The Reon Pocket is a Bluetooth device about the size of a card wallet that utilizes thermoelectric cooling. You basically slip it into a special undershirt with a pocket at the base of the neck, connect to an app, hit a button, and wham. Instant cooling. Or heating. Sony says you can also use the device on cold winter days to stay warm.
Sony’s product site notes that it’s conducted hundreds of simulations, and on hot days, the Reon Pocket can supposedly cool a user’s body temperature by 13 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit). Meanwhile, on cold days, it says it can raise your temperature by about 8 degrees Celsius (about 14 degrees Fahrenheit).
Spec-wise the product is pretty impressive. It supports iOS and Android, has a battery life of 24 hours and a charge time of 2 hours, and it uses USB-C. Since it’s so small and weighs a mere 85 grams (3 ounces), it’s not that noticeable even if you have to wear a special shirt to use it. It also comes in two versions: the Reon Pocket Standard and Reon Pocket Lite. The latter is cheaper but only comes with a manual mode operation. The standard will also let you manually control the temperature via your smartphone, but a future update will also introduce an automatic mode. The standard version also lets you tweak with air volume, as well as a customizable “my mode.”
Sony’s crowdfunding campaign just launched on Sunday and has already met 43 percent of its funding goal, with 24 days left. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Japan. Prices range from 12,760 yen (~$117) to 19,030 yen (~$175), depending on the version and how many undershirts you want to buy with it. According to Sony’s site, should they get fully funded, backers can expect to see their wearable HVACs sometime around March 2020.