Is that a charger in your pants? BauBax’s smart clothing juices up gadgets wirelessly

If there is a major shortcoming with most wireless chargers on the market, it’s that they’re unwieldy, ungainly, and a pain to lug around. Most weren’t designed with portability in mind, granted, but every once in a while, the occasion arises when you wish you didn’t have to fiddle with a smartphone charger while you’re out and about. Enter BauBax, self-styled creators of the “world’s best travel jacket.” The apparel company is launching a Kickstarter campaign for a new line of  “smart clothing” that incorporates the same Qi wireless charging tech found in many smartphones.

The jackets are the veritable Swiss army knives of travel.

BauBax has new jackets, a sweatshirt, vest, down, and bomber jackets all featuring the “world’s thinnest” wireless chargers. Every style sports charging rings around the collar area that are designed to accommodate BauBax’s Bluetooth earphones (more on those in a bit), and all except the vest ship with several of BauBox’s “charging coins” — circular pads that secure to your wrist for the purpose of powering your Android Wear smartwatch on the go Baubax says an Apple Watch-compatible model will launch later in the year. The jackets are the veritable Swiss army knives of travel and all of them, with the exception of the down, sport eye masks that lock inside the hood when not in use. There’s also an inflatable, detachable neck pillow that folds in half for storage.

If you’re wondering what’s powering those chargers, the answer is BauBox’s proprietary battery bank, an ultra-slim and light weight removable Lithium-ion Polymer pack that’s central to the company’s new lineup. It’s got a generous capacity of 4,000mAh, which should be enough to charge a smartphone once and features two designated slots for the BauBox earbuds. Charging is a cinch: Simply plug it into a wall outlet via a Micro USB cable, or, alternatively, place it on any Qi-certified charging pad. Bauox is shipping its own charging pads separately.

BauBox’s new chino pants, jeans, and shorts pack charging tech similar to its jackets with charging rings in pant pockets big enough to fit today’s largest phablets. The company’s new wallets and women’s wristlets can charge your gadgets wirelessly, too, and additionally protect against RFID readers or the sort an unscrupulous individuals use to steal your credit card data. Both the wallets and wristlets lack a battery bank, unfortunately — that’s a separate purchase. But you can opt to add a power pack to either and thanks to receiver chips built into the wallets and wristlets, they’ll charge wirelessly on a power pad.

In addition, BauBox’s new line of phone cases add Qi charging to the iPhone 6, 6S, 6 Plus, 6S Plus, SE, 5S, 5C, and 5. The company also offers the aforementioned BauBox Bluetooth earphones, which are “sweat-proof,” drown out unpleasant noise, and last up to 8 hours before you need to charge them wirelessly on any of BauBax’s new clothing or chargers. The company says a cordless model will be available for pre-orders by December 2016. The final product of note is a foldable “pocket blanket” made of a woven polyester fabric.

BauBox has gone the Kickstarter route for the new line, and it’s got a handy calculator to figure out just how much you’ll be forking over. Here’s a breakdown of the pricing:

  • The sweatshirt and vest start at $140 for “super early birds” and go up to $160
  • The down jacket is $150 to $170 and the bomber is $170 to $190
  • The jeans and chino pants are $90 to $109 and the shorts are $70 to $90
  • The wristlets and wallet, meanwhile, are $60 to $70 and $20 to $30, respectively
  • The charging pad is $30 to $40 or $50 to $60 for a dual-device charger
  • The battery bank runs $50 to $60
  • The charging coins cost $40 to $50
  • The iPhone charging case costs $15 to $25
  • The pocket blanket and the earphones cost $70 to $90

BauBox ships to 34 countries including the United States, Canada, China, and the United Kingdom. If you’re interested, you can get your own wireless charging clothing by making a pledge on bauBax’s Kickstarter campaign site.

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