YOU'VE GOT TO HAND it to Sony: the heatwave currently melting the country and reportedly causing women to consider putting ice lollies up their bajingos is a superb bit of viral marketing. What better way to sell the world on its crowdfund for a body air conditioning unit that fits in the pocket?
There are only three problems with this analysis. First is that, obviously, Sony can't control the weather, and even if it could, it's doubtful that the company behind adverts like this could do anything half as impressive. Secondly, the air conditioner isn't out until next year, and thirdly it's limited to Japan. So melting Brits in 2019 probably isn't a great sell.
In any case, say hello to the Reon Pocket: a dinky thermoelectric cooler that sits in the back of a specially designed shirt to reduce or raise your body temperature in real-time. Pop it in the shirt, fire up the connected app and enjoy your temperature dropping by up to 13 degrees Celsius. Or raising by eight degrees if you press the wrong button.
The device itself promises up to 24 hours' battery for Bluetooth (though under two hours of actual temperature control: sneaky, Sony) and charges in two via a USB-C cable. More importantly, it weighs just 85 grams, so is definitely preferable to carrying a Dyson Pure Cool fan in a custom-made papoose, as we've all considered in our darker moments.
It comes in two flavours: the Reon Pocket Lite (¥12,760 or ~£95) and the Reon Pocket Standard (¥14,080 or ~£105). The reduced price of the former is because it won't let you control it via the app, and doesn't let you fiddle with air volume, so people may ask why your back is whistling.
At the time of writing, Sony has already smashed its crowdfunding target, hitting ¥69,168,000 (~£514,000) with 21 days left to go. Maybe with numbers like these, Sony would consider giving us sweaty Westerners a go at some point in the future. µ
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