As we know that global temperatures are rising at an alarming rate, it makes difficult to avoid melting into a sweaty puddle during the summer months. Therefore, Sony has recently announced the Reon Pocket, which is a small cooling device that you can wear like a portable air conditioner. The wearable air conditioner is live on Sony’s crowdfunding website, where prices start at ¥12,760 (about $117).
The Reon Pocket is a Bluetooth device about the size of a card wallet that utilizes thermoelectric cooling. You just have to put it under your shirt with a pocket at the base of the neck, connect to an app, hit a button, and wham. Although it gives you both instant cooling or instant heating, Sony says you can also use the device on cold winter days to stay warm.
Unfortunately, the March 2020 date means that the Reon Pocket will arrive too late for this year’s heatwave. In the UK the temperature rise to 38.1 degrees Celsius (100.5 degrees Fahrenheit), the second hottest day ever recorded in the country according to BBC News. Sony claims that its product 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).
Whereas on cold days, it says it can raise your temperature by about 8 degrees Celsius (about 14 degrees Fahrenheit). Now spec-wise the wearable air conditioner is pretty impressive, as 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 is not that noticeable even if you have to wear a special shirt to use it. The device comes in two versions: the Reon Pocket Standard and Reon Pocket Lite.
Pocket Lite is cheaper and only comes with a manual mode operation. The standard will let you manually control the temperature with the help of 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 is not the first company to have attempted making a wearable personal thermostat. There was a company named the Embr Wave, which tried out back at CES 2018. Plus we have seen a number of heated clothing items meant for use while skiing or snowboarding.
Sony crowdfunding campaign has started on Sunday, the company has already 43 percent of its funding goal, with 24 days left. But don’t get too excited because it is 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, they should get fully funded, backers can expect to see their wearable HVACs sometime around March 2020.