This jacket is revolutionizing the technology of outerwear.
Ministry of Supply, the MIT-founded apparel brand, is launching a heated jacket that can be controlled by your voice.
While built-in heaters aren’t a new thing, the technology to respond to a person’s body temperature is. The Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket has an internal heating system that uses sensors to detect internal body temperature and the temperature outside. An app allows you to control the heat with the interior heater connecting via Bluetooth to your phone. (It will also soon connect to Google Home, Siri, and Android devices.)
If the thought of saying “Alexa, warm up my jacket” seems odd, it shouldn’t, says co-founder and president Gihan Amarasiriwardena.
“It’s something that kind of came about when we were doing user testing,” Amarasiriwardena said. “The idea of voice control isn’t gimmicky anymore. It’s actually fitting into our natural behaviors.”
The jacket (and also a vest) uses accelerometer data to track movement, so you can expect it to amp up the heat while you’re standing still and lighten it up if you’re trekking up a trail.
The Boston company was founded five years ago on Kickstarter, and it headed back to its roots for this new jacket launch on Wednesday morning. A goal to raise $72,000 was smashed by a current $217,192 (as of Thursday morning) with 736 backers.
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The company that focuses on a scientific approach to design, describes the new piece as a “functional, beautiful, everything-proof, voice-controlled jacket that learns and automatically heats to your optimal temperature.”
Available in jet black or navy, the coat is also TSA-friendly and machine washable (tested to 50 plus cycles) with a waterproof breathable membrane.
Currently, the coats are selling for $295 on Kickstarter ($495 MSRP), and the vests are $195 ($395 MSRP). That’s a pretty reasonable price considering your heating bill will probably go down, too.