Sony recently released a wearable air conditioner named Reon Pocket, which is smaller than a smartphone and weighs only 85g. It claims to be capable of dropping the body temperature by 13 degrees Celsius when compared to the surroundings. It can also work as a mini heater during winters by raising the body temperature by 8 degrees Celsius.
Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, users can manually control it by a smartphone app compatible with both iOS and Android or can set the device to an automatic mode so that it can toggle between the temperatures accordingly.
It uses temperature and motion sensors to detect the user’s activity, what the wearer is doing, how they are feeling, and then appropriately adjust the cooling mode to ensure the desired comfort level is maintained. The side of the device that rests against the wearer’s back will remain cool while heat filters through a small fan that vents warm air out and away from the body. However, efficient the device might be, but it is not for long-duration usage. The battery life of the device is around 90 minutes and takes 2 hours to charge via USB type-c port.
The portable device works on a lithium-ion battery. It uses thermoelectric cooling that is the Peltier effect, which is generally used in cars and wine coolers. It serves as a heat pump to cool the device’s body. The wearable AC is not waterproof, but any dirt, sweat, water droplets can be wiped off with a hygroscopic soft cloth.
Originally, the device was intended to help consumers stay cool during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, as that is not expected anytime soon, Sony had made the device available for purchase. As of now, it is available only in Japan priced approximately at ₹12000. The company has specially designed an undershirt with a pocket located on the back of the neck for the device to easily slip into. The shirt is made of polyester fabric and costs roughly around ₹1500. It has flat seams so that it is not super noticeable under other clothes.
A crowdfunded project and developed through Sony’s startup acceleration program, the project has received ₹1,96,83,900.46.