Sony’s Reon Pocket is a smartphone-controlled wearable air conditioner

With summer temperatures ramping up across the northern hemisphere, temperature-controlled clothes really can’t come soon enough.

In the meantime, we’re left having to contort our jaws in a desperate effort to blow air onto our faces, or flap our shirts manically in the absurd belief that it’s actually going to make any difference.

But fear not. Sony is apparently on the case. It’s been working on the Reon Pocket air conditioner, a device that it says can be worn discreetly on your back to keep you cool in hot weather, and warm in winter.

Smaller than a smartphone, the miniature air conditioner slots into an inside pocket in a specially made undershirt and cools the wearer using a Peltier element usually used in cars and wine coolers. Its battery can last for 90 minutes, and needs two hours to fully recharge.

The Reon Pocket connects to a smartphone app, which the wearer uses to control the temperature as they go about their day. Or at least, 90 minutes of it.

While it won’t keep your face cool in direct sunlight, keeping the rest of your body cool under your top could make a real difference for those sensitive to hot and sticky weather conditions. Similarly, it will also come in handy when you have to head outside on bitterly cold winter days.

The Reon Pocket is the latest product to emerge from First Flight, a crowdfunding platform launched by Sony in 2015. First Flight lets workers at the tech company suggest slightly more offbeat products — like the Reon Pocket — before putting the most interesting ones on its funding site to gauge interest among potential customers.

It’s certainly looking good for the Reon Pocket as in just a few days it has so far raised more than $275,000 from around 1,800 backers.

Sony is aiming to launch the Reon Pocket in 2020, hopefully in time for the Tokyo Olympics, which, if past Japanese summers are anything to go by, is set to be a very sweaty one for visitors and athletes alike. Indeed, you may need to place several of these devices around your body to have any hope of coping with the oppressive heat and humidity.

The Reon Pocket comes with an undershirt and is expected to sell for around $130. It’s currently listed as a Japan-only product, but if it proves a hit, Sony could be tempted to expand sales of the device to overseas markets, too.

If you simply can’t wait for the Reon Pocket to arrive, check out the weirdest cooling gadgets currently available on Amazon.

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