There’s nothing quite like a heated towel after a shower, or a heated blanket after a cold day. And now, there’s also a heated jacket for your expeditions into the tundra (or, you know, just a cold day). Meet the Ministry of Supply, the team behind a new Kickstarter project that purports to be the first intelligent heated jacket. Promising to be all-weather proof and voice-controlled, this new line of jackets called Mercury claims to “automatically heat to your optimal temperature,” which basically sounds like the jacket of your dreams.
The Mercury jackets from Ministry of Supply feature built-in heaters with smart thermostats, which allegedly react to your environment and adjust the temperature of your outerwear automatically. As per the team’s Kickstarter page, there are three carbon-fiber heating elements that weigh in at 100 grams and are just 1 mm thin (thinner than a dime). Despite their diminutive size, the heaters claims to deliver up to 10 watts of heating power immediately, and can reach up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (though we can’t imagine that’s preferable).
“Mercury creates a microclimate for your body using real-time reactive and proactive heating to constantly adapt heat and optimize your body temperature,” Ministry of Supply claims. “Using the accelerometer, body temperature, and outside temperature, Mercury triangulates the perfect amount of heat, so you don’t have to worry about overheating.” And as you adjust the temperature of your jacket, the Mercury learns your preferences and automatically improves its temperature-setting metrics.
As for actually adjusting the temperature, you can do so simply by talking to your jacket. The Mercury’s integration with Amazon Alexa means that getting warm is as easy as talking to your favorite smart assistant. That said, the Mercury will also turn the heating elements on automatically anytime the external temperature drops, so you don’t always have to be the oddball who is chatting with your coat. You can also turn to the companion app to set the temperature of the jacket.
The Mercury line purports to be wind, snow, water, and odor-repellent, though we’re not entirely sure how the last claim stands up. Based on photos, it does seem as though the Mercury is a good-looking jacket. As the team notes, “Above all, Mercury was designed to look great in any setting — with a simple, clean, and tailored aesthetic.”
Of course, you should always exercise caution when backing any crowdfunding project. But if you’re intrigued by Mercury’s claims, a pledge of $195 should get you a Mercury vest, with a shipment date of November 2018. The full jacket has an early bird price of $280, and is also slated to ship in November.