The days of layering or taking your coat on and off all day may be over thanks to new wearable technology in a "smart jacket". The Flexwarm jacket, which the manufacturer says is the first of its kind, has four heating zones that are controlled by a smartphone. You can set your ideal temperature and the jacket adjusts to within 1 degree as your body temp and outside weather conditions change. The video below explains how.
With sensors embedded in a thin, flexible heating layer, covered by water-resistant fabric on the outside and soft fabric inside, the jacket that is lightweight, but without the wires that can be felt in other heated clothing. Instead it uses an ordinary 5 volt battery pack.
To get it working, you download the app and set the temp on each of four zones – chest, back and both hands. The jacket has built-in fingerless gloves with a warming layer in each to keep your hands warm, even when they're out of the pockets. But if you don't want to use the hand warmers, you can push the gloves inside the jacket sleeves.
Flexwarm is a Chinese company that already makes heated wearables, such as a warming scarf that looks more like a collar attachment. The company launched an indiegogo page where you can order the jacket for $181 and up. You can also order the vest for $64. At the end of its campaign in late August, Flexwarm had raised $126,442 or 234 percent of its goal.
Flexwarm joins some others trying to make it in the warm wearable tech space, including some Norwegian scientists making clothes for extreme cold temperatures and another company making heated slippers and gloves.
According to Flexwarm's indiegogo page, shipping of its products will start in November 2016. As to whether this heated jacket really works, we'll have to wait and see this winter.