We always thought it would be nice if someone could develop wearable air conditioning technology that was a little more sophisticated than those. ac work capsule toys we tried some time ago. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Sony had already done this, three years ago at least.
Reon Pocket is the name of this device, which is now in its third generation. This is a small block designed to press against the middle of the shoulders and blow cool air straight up the spine.
The first Reon Pocket was created through a successful crowdfunding campaign in July 2019 when their target of 66 million yen was reached in one week. With this success, Sony released them to retailers the following year and sold 10,000 units in two days.
Despite the huge popularity of these limited editions, Sony has been pretty reticent about this product so far. There are tons of videos of YouTubers trying out Reon Pockets, but no actual promotional videos from Sony itself.
▼ Since all the overview videos are in Japanese, here is one of the more physically animated ones to give a more general idea of how it works.
Perhaps it’s because they feel the product still doesn’t quite live up to their notoriously high standards. Since 2019, they have been constantly making improvements, which until now have led to the Reon Pocket 3, which came out earlier this year and features increased cooling efficiency that is 50 percent better than the previous model.
Sony has also taken some smartphone design techniques and applied them to these devices. Reon Pocket 3 is equipped with motion sensors that detect the user’s movement and provide appropriate cooling. For those who prefer to control the cooling power manually, this can be done using a dedicated smartphone app.
It also has a built-in battery that charges fully in about 100 minutes via USB-C and lasts 8 to 61 hours in cooling mode or 27 to 54 hours in heating mode depending on the intensity. That’s right, these little things can also act as wearable heaters in winter.
Either way, they can be worn with a specially designed neck strap.
For smoother cooling and heating, Sony has also teamed up with several labels to produce a line of business and golf shirts with built-in Reon Pocket pockets.
Photo: PR Times
Surprisingly for a Sony product, they’re not all that expensive, retailing for around 14,850 yen apiece. At this price, during a potentially unprecedented heat wave in Japan, it’s no wonder a Sony spokesperson said sales were “more than expected.”
The comments on the internet are certainly expressing great desperation for some relief from the heat.
“It’s good for the upcoming season, but I’m just impressed with the technology.”
“I love the sound it makes when it works. People don’t think about it, but it’s important when you use it every day.”
“I want to put on sunscreen, but I’m sweating too much from the heat. Maybe that will help.”
“I wonder how long they will last. I don’t want to get it every year.”
“Sony does everything these days.”
“I can’t handle summer so I’m going to get it soon.”
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