Sony’s wearable air conditioner Reon Pocket is the ultimate cool-down gadget to look out for
Too hot, hot dang
You know the greatest thing about crowdfunding campaigns? They give the people exactly what they want, in true democratic supply-demand fashion. So when the masses threw their weight behind a wearable air conditioner upon Sony's behest (in the form of a First Flight crowdfunding program), the consumer electronics giant came through. Now equipped with a fully-funded product, Sony is hard at work to bring to fruition all that they said they would, pioneering what is bound to be the start of a new era of smart wear.
Take it to the literal – named Reon Pocket, this pouch-sized gadget uses thermoelectric technology to manage your body temperature from its little spot at the back of a specially-made shirt. Controlling it through Bluetooth via an app allows you to manually set the desired temperature of your in-shirt device, calling upon the Peltier effect to cool you down accordingly. When activated, heat is either absorbed or emitted when an electrical current passes through a junction between dissimilar conductors (in this case, the junction would be the point of contact between the device and the shirt, the latter of which mimics your body temperature). Building hype where hype is due, Sony claims the device is capable of reducing your back temperature all the way from 36ºC to 23ºC. That hot walk to the office in your full suit-and-tie ensemble will be nothing equipped with this almighty savior.
Alas, the proverbial table is still lacking the bane of every gadget's existence: Battery life. As you might imagine, such a small device encumbered with such a great task would require quite the power – and the Reon Pocket is predicted to last less than two hours per use. For now, Sony is apparently planning to launch the device only in Japan next March, so the rest of us have to chill around a little while longer – using other conventional cooling methods unfortunately – before this coveted gadget eventually enters the global market. Till then, those of us living the equator are likely adopting the take-all-my-money attitude.
To our surprise, such a gratifying tool is supposedly going for just US$117, which is reasonable enough when considering that heat can be the differentiating factor between a good day or an insufferably irritable one.