Photo: Sony
tech

Sony’s wearable air conditioners selling like cold cakes in heat-stricken Japan

20 Comments
By SoraNews24

We always thought it’d be nice if someone could develop wearable air conditioning tech that’s a little more sophisticated than those working AC capsule toys we tried out a while back. So, imagine my surprise to find that Sony had already done it, and three years ago no less.

Reon Pocket is the name of this device which is now in its third generation. It’s a small unit designed to be pressed against the middle of your shoulders and deliver cool air right down your spine.

The first Reon Pocket was made from a successful crowdfunding campaign in July of 2019, in which their target amount of 66 million yen was hit in one week. Thanks to that success, Sony then put them out for retail the following year and moved 10,000 units in two days.

Despite the huge popularity in these limited releases, Sony has been pretty low key about the product so far. There’s a slew of videos featuring YouTubers trying out Reon Pockets, but no actual promotional videos from Sony themselves.

▼ Since all the review videos are in Japanese, here’s one of the more physically animated ones to give a more universal sense of how it works.

Perhaps it’s because they feel the product still isn’t quite up to their notoriously high standards. Since 2019, they’ve been constantly making improvements which have so far resulted in the Reon Pocket 3, which came out earlier this year and features heightened cooling efficiency that’s 50 percent better than the previous model.

Sony has also picked up some tricks from smartphone development and applied them to this devices as well. Reon Pocket 3 is equipped with motion sensors to detects the wearer’s movement and provide cooling appropriately. For those who would prefer to control their own cooling power manually, that can be done to via a dedicated smartphone app.

Screen-Shot-2022-07-03-at-9.56.47.png
Photo: Sony

It also has a built in battery that fully charges in about 100 minutes via USB-C and lasts from eight to 61 hours in cooling mode or 27 to 54 hours in warming mode depending on the intensity. That’s right, these little things can also act as wearable heaters in the winter.

In either case, they can be worn using a specially designed neckband harness.

Screen-Shot-2022-07-03-at-9.57.48.png
Photo: Sony

For more seamless cooling and heating, Sony has also teamed up with several labels to produce a line of business shirts and golf shirts that have built-in pockets for Reon Pocket.

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Photo: PR Times

Surprisingly for a Sony product, they’re not all that expensive either, retailing for about 14,850 yen a pop. At such a price during a potentially unprecedented heat wave in Japan, it’s no wonder that a Sony rep said that sales have been “more than expected.”

Comments online certainly seem to be expressing a lot of desperation to find any kind of relief from the heat.

“It’s good for the season that’s coming, but I’m just impressed with the technology of it.”

“I like the sound it makes when it’s working. People don’t think about that, but it’s important when you use it every day.”

“I want to put on sunscreen, but I sweat too much from the heat. Maybe this can help.”

“I wonder how long they last. I don’t want to have to get one every year.”

“Sony’s making everything these days.”

“I can’t handle the summer, so I’m going to get one soon.”

Sources: SonyPR Times via ITmedia Business Online

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Move over headphones, Sony’s new speakers let you blast music out of your shoulders

-- Sony set to make “aggressive” move into AR phone gaming market thanks to success of Pokémon GO

-- Newsflash: Sony unveils “Project Morpheus”, new virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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Sony has high standards? Their smart phones were a flop and the only successful business line they have is Columbia Pictures, which isn’t even run day to day by the Japanese. If the Japanese just drink water in high temperatures rather than diuretic green tea maybe there wouldn’t be as many heat stroke deaths.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Misleading title. They are selling fast

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Last year I purchased 3 AIRism T shirts from Uni Q. and didn't really appreciate them, however this year I do, they are surprisingly cool and light weight, I do not sweat and when a breeze of air comes through they act as a cooler, last week I went back and got m 4 more so I can change them daily but I noticed the new ones are even butter, lighter and cooler.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Now, here's somthing like Walkman, congratulations for this genial idea from Sony!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

My wife has been trying to get me one for weeks now they are fully sold out.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Jean Charles Athanase Peltier. In 1834, Monsieur Peltier first described this effect for whom the devices are named. Albeit used in other applications, ONLY 188 years later, do we reap the benefits in a consumer device. And who else would bring us such a thing but Nihonteki imagination... Bravo!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Surprisingly for a Sony product, they’re not all that expensive either, retailing for about 14,850 yen a pop.

Not expensive? I bought a portable fan that sprays water for less than 1000yen.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

NOMINATION: "Not expensive? I bought a portable fan that sprays water for less than 1000yen."

Ah, you guys and the portable fans. Do you know what they are once the air reaches a certain temperature? Blow dryers. And blow dryers that hasten heat stroke. Not to mention, they should be banned given that we are still in a pandemic and Covid-19 is an airborne virus. Saw a woman on the train platform two days ago keep averting her face from the fan she held in front of it because the air it was blowing was too hot! Did she shut off the fan though? Nope. Would have been too common-sense.

Anyway, I'd give it a try, but I bet it doesn't work well at all, and the fact that you have to wear a long sleeve shirt to use it likely won't help much. Probably works better than those ridiculous fan jackets, though, that require you to wear what is tantamount to a winter coat so that they function.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

If these cool the air down… where do you suppose the heat goes? What junk.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

do they have a nether region version? It sure is sweaty of late.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It has 17% 1 star reviews on amazon. The main issues are the neck strap is sold separately and the unit produces heat like a hot mobile phone. The last issue is the battery life seems to be a bit exaggerated according to the reviews. I like the idea but it looks like the tech isn't really there yet.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The U.S. military will be interested in these for when we finally start actively invading African countries who don't agree with us or actually want a fair price for their resources... it's just a matter of time as the Chinese shrink U.S. Corporate opportunities for exploitation and provide more equitable Win-Win trade terms to more countries.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Saw a woman on the train the other day, no mask and fanning her breath over everyone. Almost as bad as the people who do the chin mask/nose over the top mask and think others can’t tell the difference.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Do you know what they are once the air reaches a certain temperature? Blow dryers. And blow dryers that hasten heat stroke. 

The Sony thing is basically junk but what a load of nonsense. People just have their own false representation of the world and they are convinced by their ignorance. Essentially a fan doesn't reduce the temperature of the air exiting or downstream of the fan. Regardless of the ambient temperature. What happens is that the increase in velocity of the air flow from the fan that causes the air to feel cooler than the air going into the fan. The fast moving air increases the rate at which our bodies lose heat due to convection and evaporation. Warmer in direct contact with the skin is displaced and this enhances the rate of convective heat transfer, which means we feel cooler. Moreover moisture in the form of sweat on the skin also evaporates more quickly in the presence of fast moving air. This takes away some body heat and makes us feel cooler.

Not to mention, they should be banned given that we are still in a pandemic and Covid-19 is an airborne virus

Complete nonsense. This is opposite. Being airborne, more mixing with ambient air means a smaller density of infected particles for a given volume of air. So creating advection is an effective way to to displace particles, that’s why indoors are advised for having good air flow. And that’s also why the infection risk outdoors is essentially zero given the natural advection and diffusion of particles happening in an open system, essentially with infinitely placed boundary conditions. Not to mention the virus carrying capability of droplets is also very much constrained by the ambient environment relative humidity and radiation conditions.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sony has high standards? Their smart phones were a flop…

2022 sales are currently up compared to 2021.

Xperia phones, if you have never used them yourself, have excellent build quality: three of mine have lasted years, still taking great quality photos.

The Xperia Pro-1 is in the top 5 best phones in the world now: it’s camera system is almost unbeatable.

They aren’t as popular for one main reason: they are over priced in a market flooded by Chinese cheaper brands, and consumers slaves to Apple regardless of what they put out. You can’t fight against that cultural icon.

Xperia isn’t a flop, it’s a niche product.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

. If the Japanese just drink water in high temperatures rather than diuretic green tea maybe there wouldn’t be as many heat stroke deaths.

A bit off topic, but I thought it worth clarifying this as it could have health implications.

Yes, tea contains a modest amount of diuretic, but it is inconsequential compared to the fluid you take on when you drink it. Better to drink tea than nothing at all when it's hot.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

These gadgets, and the electronic hand fans everyones buying - just add to the word's growing mountains of toxic e-waste.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apart from the usual suspect(s) who will blame/find defects/fault in anything Japan (yet will cheer it once cheap Chinese/Korean knock-offs appear), this is actually a FANTASTIC idea.

Worldwide application.

People will "die" for this in hot countries, will be glad to have one in colder ones.

Of course it won't help you much in a blizzard, but not everyone lives in Canada (thanks God)!

Sony is sitting on a Gold field, this product is potentially much greater than the Walkman ever was.

Sony will work out any glitches, make it much better than already is, in spite of venomous, jealous tongues betting against something they've never even tried!

This device has a huge future.

Simples.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm skeptical about these types of products and that price is a definite put-off. Sony used to be "The One and Only" but now you can find products just as good or better for way less than theirs. I used to run out to buy whatever they had and the brand had a sort of glitter to it back in the '70s and '80s but now it's not the same. I'll pass.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sony has high standards? Their smart phones were a flop and the only successful business line they have is Columbia Pictures, which isn’t even run day to day by the Japanese.

Their smartphone isn't very popular because they're expensive and totally a niche product. They're probably the only phone in the world that uses the word "PRO" properly.

Ever heard of their Bravia, Mirrorless camera, PlayStation, and headphones?

Probably not. lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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