[imagesource: Reon Pocket]
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Cape Town feels like a polar region at the moment.
I wouldn’t say no to a personal heater under the circumstances.
By the same token, summer this year was pretty ridiculous, and stepping out of an air conditioned office into the outside world was like walking into a solid wall of impenetrable heat.
SONY was obviously taking note of the fact that weather seems to be more extreme these days when it designed the Reon Pocket.
Per Popular Mechanics:
Reon Pocket, which is about the size of a Blackberry smartphone and looks like an Apple Magic Mouse, can cool your body by up to 23 degrees Fahrenheit on sweltering days. But it can also warm you up during the winter, maxing out at an additional 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
To use the device, you slide the cooling (or heating) unit into a specially designed inner pocket on a t-shirt that sits between your shoulder blades.
Once you’ve equipped your shirt with the cooling device just below your neck, download the free Reon Pocket app on the Google Play market or the App Store for iOS devices.
From there, you can toggle between cooling and warming and adjust the temperature with one touch.
Looks simple enough:
The device must make contact with your skin in order for it to work. It uses the Peltier effect, a concept in thermodynamics, to do the actual cooling.
The Peltier effect relies on a thermocouple, or a small sensor that measures temperature through two wire legs, which are welded together on one side, forming a junction. When that junction sees a change in temperature, it creates a voltage. That, in turn, helps the thermocouple take heat measurements.
As an electric current passes through the thermocouple circuit, heat is created at one side of the junction, and absorbed at the other side. To heat or cool, the Reon Pocket just needs to take a temperature measurement through this apparatus, and either absorb heat to create a warming sensation, or release it to create a cooling effect. There’s a built-in fan for that purpose.
The built-in lithium battery lasts between two and four hours depending on the settings that you use. It takes two and a half hours to fully charge, using a USB charger once the battery is depleted.
Behold, the future of personal cooling systems:
The device itself will set you back around $172 (roughly R3 000) and is currently only available in Japan. The t-shirt will cost you an additional $20 (roughly R340).
There’s no way of knowing when it will make its way to South Africa.
When it does, here’s a pro tip – for less than R100, you can just sew a pocket onto a t-shirt yourself.
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