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Sony’s making a silent, wearable air conditioner that will launch next year

Published Jul 29th, 2019 11:05PM EDT
Wearable air conditioner
Image: Photo by Paco Freire/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

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Global temperatures have been rising to new all-time highs this year, a fact that no one who’s suffered through the heatwave that’s blanketed the US in recent weeks probably needs to be reminded of. Which makes a new product Sony is working on particularly enticing: The consumer electronics giant, no joke, launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for what would be an actual wearable air conditioner that slips on the back of a shirt and promises to keep you cool.

Sony is calling the device the Reon Pocket, and it’s touting the ability for the app-controlled device to lower the temperature on your back from 97F to 73F. The app would be controlled via Bluetooth, and Sony is reportedly pricing this at a very affordable US equivalent to $117.

There are, to be sure, a couple of pretty big downsides. One is battery life. The device, which Sony plans to launch first in Japan, would have a battery that lasts less than two hours. Even worse than that — if you’re hoping for relief from the current hot weather, the Reon Pocket won’t help you out anytime soon, as it’s not coming until 2020.

The release date we’re hearing right now is March 2020, which will certainly be great if you’re planning to, you know, attend the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics.

All that said, this device definitely sounds promising, and we can envision so many people this could benefit. Imagine, for example, having a cooling device on your back that’s working to make sure you still look polished on a hot day that helps you avoid sweating like crazy when you’re in a suit and headed to a business meeting.

As we mentioned above, Sony successfully crowdfunded the product through the company’s First Flight program which tries to gin up demand for products to give them a better chance at viability.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.