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Sony’s New Wearable Air Conditioner Is Here to Save Your Summer

It met its crowdfunding goal in just three days, but there's a catch.

YouTube/First Flight JP

All of the good things about summer — water slides, barbecues, baseball — can be ruined by the season’s most notorious characteristic: scorching heat. Air conditioning offers a respite from the heat, but a climate-controlled room is not where you want to spend your summer, as all of the aforementioned good things are outdoor activities.

That’s why Sony is crowdfunding the Reon Pocket, an all-new personal cooling device that slips into a special T-shirt and acts as a portable air conditioner you can take with you into the dog days.

Like every other electronic device these days, the Reon Pocket comes equipped with Bluetooth. You slip it into a pocket on the back of the shirt near the nape of the neck, connect to it with  your phone, and turn it on to instantly cool (or heat—it’s a heater too!) your body.

The Reon Pocket works using the Peltier effect, a thermoelectric effect that can generate or remove heat at the junction between two conductors. Many refrigerators operate on the same principle.

YouTube/First Flight JP

Sony says the three-ounce device can cool you down by 23 degrees Fahrenheit and heat you up by 14. Its battery, which charges via USB-C in 2 hours, should last 24 hours.

It will come in two versions, the Reon Pocket Standard and Reon Pocket Light. The Standard is better because it comes with an automatic mode in a future software update and allows you to adjust the air volume. Prices will range from about $117 to $175 depending on the model and the number of shirts you want with it.

The Reon Pocket personal air conditioner attracted 69,168,000 yen, enough to reach 104 percent of its funding goal in just three days. Sadly it won’t be available until March, so you won’t have its protection to get you through this summer’s remaining heat waves. Even more sadly, it appears to be a Japan-only project, so getting on in the states might be tricky, but hopefully one day we too can add the Reon Pocket to our summer cooling arsenal.