Where was Falyon Wearable Tech on October 21, 2015? The company introduced a self-drying jacket on Kickstarter in early November. It’s tech straight out of Back to the Future Part II, but Aaron Coleman, one of the creators pointed out, “we want our jackets to stand on their own, and not be viewed as just a novelty … . We knew most people would associate our jackets with the movie, and we do play up this angle a bit, but they are more than just costumes or props. They are comfortable, functional jackets that have the added bonus of being able to dry themselves relatively quickly should you get caught in the rain, splashed by a puddle, have your drink dumped on your head by an angry girlfriend, whatever. We think the feature is useful enough that it can stand on its own.” Fair enough, Falyon.
The Falyon SDJ-01 is set to be the world’s first automated self-drying jacket. It uses two air amplifiers to direct the air into the jacket between the lining and the shell. Each weighs a little less than an iPhone 6.
Two vents near the jacket’s collar create a circulation effect designed to dry the inner layer closest to your skin first. The way they’re positioned, they can dry or cool the wearer’s head, too. It remains to be seen if you’ll look like you’re being hit with a blow-dryer like Marty McFly, though as Aaron said that’s not the point.
The amplifiers run on a built-in removable rechargeable cell that comes with a 5.5m coaxial charging cord. The power button looks like something you’d find on the back of your PC, though the company says it plans to redesign that before the SDJ-01 ships in April of next year. For people that loathe the clunky look of the current power button that could be a godsend, for others it could be off-putting, since that is yet one more design aspect that has to be finalized before manufacturing, and crowdfunded projects are notorious for late delivery.
The jacket itself is a standard looking ski affair from the outside, with four front flap-close pockets; the version shown with the amp running, which looks more like a down jacket, is a proof of concept prototype (lovingly known as the SDJ-00). For the -01, the finished product, the outer layer will be water-repellent nylon and the lining, rayon. The inside hides the tech, plus a couple pockets; a massive one for a tablet on the lower right and a cell pocket on the upper right. The power cell is tucked under the left breast pocket.
Falyon is seeking $30,000 and they’re only at about $1,500 so far with a little more than a month to go. It’s a shame this wasn’t available to back on the day Marty and Doc arrived in what was, to them, the future. Perhaps possible backers are annoyed it doesn’t auto-size — the movie jacket’s other feature. As Aaron said, that’s not the point, but I just say one step at a time.
The Special Edition, colored to match the automated jacket from Back to the Future Part II, is going for $160 on Kickstarter. If you’re thinking of getting this for strict cosplay, keep in mind these jackets have four exterior pockets, while the jacket in the movie only has two. The other colors — black, silver, white, and blue — go for $140.