In July, Sony launched a successful crowdfunding campaign in Japan for a wearable cooling device called the Reon Pocket. The product sits at the back of the neck in a specially designed undershirt and delivers instant cooling thanks to the Peltier effect, a property of semiconductors. The project is part of the Sony Startup Accelerator and due to hit the market in 2020, with the device and shirt starting at USD 130, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.
With temperatures rising around the world, Sony isn’t the only innovator in the race to invent wearable air conditioners. What can you learn?
Climate conscious. July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded in history. As the world heats up, we will rely on air conditioning even more, and the energy consumed will further heat up the planet. It’s a vicious cycle. Personal AC, however, can reduce the cost of cooling entire buildings and may be better for the environment. Creating a cooling wearable is extremely difficult, but consumers will increasingly expect solutions that get the job done without costing the earth. When your team is innovating in pursuit of the customer’s comfort, do you keep their conscience in mind?
Eco-versatile. Let’s be honest, many eco-innovations create more hassle for the users. They’re often not as practical and they only tackle one specific issue. But here’s something that actually improves various activities, from making outdoor spectating at the Olympics more tolerable, to boosting athlete performance. Reon Pocket also helps with non-weather related body temperature problems like hot flashes and other medical conditions. Bring this thought back to your innovation team, rather than developing a singular eco solution can you design a single product with multiple uses?