We need Sony's wearable air conditioner right now

Sony Rocket Reon
(Image credit: Sony)

The new Sony Reon Rocket is a body-cooling wearable that promises to chill you out in the heat. Folks suffering the current heat waves sweeping the world can all agree: it sucks to be caught in it between air conditioning havens. But, what if you could take AC with you? That's what this wearable promises.

Sadly, the device isn’t for sale yet: it must be crowdfunded first, and if it makes its goal (it’s currently 44% funded), should ship by March 2020. But, the promise of mobile cooling is too tantalizing to ignore.

After hundreds of simulations, Sony estimates that the Reon Pocket should be able to cool a user’s body temperature by 13 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Gizmodo. The device can help out on cold days too (if you can remember what those are), warming a body up by 8 degrees Celsius (about 14 degrees Fahrenheit).

Portable AC in a proprietary shirt

The Reon Rocket itself is an 85g pod the size of a garage remote that slips into a pocket of a specially-made shirt – right on the top of your spine, actually. You can control it via iOS or Android phone, and an "auto mode" is coming. The battery lasts 24 hours with a 2-hour full recharge.

Starting price for a Reon Rocket on its crowdfunding page is 14,080 yen (around $129, £104, AU$186), though you can pledge more to get extra shirts-and-pockets. No, it might not work with a regular or DIY-altered shirt: the device seems to sit in a specially-cut slip with a tiny cutout for it to vent. It’s unclear if the device is as effective if placed elsewhere.

You could also pay less for the Reon Rocket Light, a version with lower functionality. This model starts at 12,760 yen (around $117, £944, AU$168), though it only has manual controls.

  • Want to keep an eye on your health during this heat? Check out our best smartwatch list
David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.