After launching its first wearable air conditioner last year, Sony’s back with the Reon Pocket 2. This time around, the device can absorb twice as much heat thanks to newly designed internal circuitry, has better sweat resistance, and comes with more accessories and apparel options.
In a press release, Sony says the new circuit design makes it possible to drive more power to the Reon Pocket 2's thermo module. Additionally, compared to the original model, the Pocket 2 upgrades to SUS316L stainless steel for the temperature cooling surface, replacing the silicon used in the original. That supposedly offers more strength and transfers cooler temperatures more easily to the skin. It also includes a “silicone coating sheet” in case the stainless steel is too intense or for people who might have allergic reactions. While the original Reon Pocket had three temperature levels, the Pocket 2 has four.
Otherwise, the gadget’s external design seems to be pretty much the same, with both models measuring 54 mm x 20 mm by 116 mm (WHD). However, in addition to new circuitry, the Pocket 2 also opted to seal electronic components. (The original only sealed the temperature-regulating parts.) So while it’s not completely dust and waterproof, Sony says the device can now be used for light activities like golf and walking. Previously, it only recommended the Reon Pocket for commuting and teleworking. As a result of these design tweaks, the Pocket 2 is slightly heavier at 92 g to the original’s 89 g.
Another neat upgrade is you can now extend the battery life of the device by plugging it into your computer or a USB-C mobile battery of at least 3,350mAh. However, Sony says that its new Level 4 cooling is extremely power-hungry, so you’ll only get about 3 hours of use, even if you’re plugged in. (Also, Sony says it suspends continuous use after 1 hour.) Comparatively, you get 20 hours at level 1, 15 hours at level 2, and 13 hours at level 3.
Sony is also adding a neckband accessory so that you can wear the Reon Pocket 2 with your own clothes. With the original, you had to buy special undershirts with a pocket sewn in the back. The neckband supposedly doesn’t shift while moving and is suitable for light exercises. The neckband is sold separately for 1,430 yen (about $13). This isn’t to say that Sony’s given up on apparel, however. With the Reon Pocket 2, Sony is also partnering with various fashion brands to create clothes that are compatible with the device. Mainly, shirts that won’t impede the intake and exhaust elements that generate the device’s Peltier effect. Given the focus on golf, some of the fashion partners include Descente Golf, Le Coq Sportif, and Munsingwear. Meanwhile, Sony also plans to include business casual shirts from Edifice, and streetwear from Estnation.
The Reon Pocket 2 is available starting April 22 for 14,850 yen, or roughly $137. That said, if you want one, you’re going to have to figure out a way to buy it from Japanese retailers (or beg a friend who lives in Japan to send you one). It’s available at Sony’s online site, as well as Amazon Japan.