It gets frigid in Boston, where high-tech clothing startup Ministry of Supply is headquartered. But the problem with bundling up in the winter is that you’re always too hot the minute you hop on the bus or pop into a store. So it makes sense that the company’s founders had the idea to develop a jacket that adjusts to your temperature.
Ministry just launched a wearable technology—called the Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket—that it claims can provide just the right amount of heat as you transition from one environment to another. When you head out the door, the heating system turns on, then as you run to your bus, it lowers the heat. Once you’re in the warm bus, it might totally shut off the heat. Over time, the jacket will calibrate to the specific preferences of the wearer.
This isn’t the first heated jacket on the market. But Ministry’s jacket stands out because it has a microcontroller system that gathers information about temperature, the wearer’s motion, and user preferences to adjust the heat. It is also the first jacket to use voice control and AI as part of the system. The wearer can control the jacket through a smartphone app as well as voice assistants like Alexa.
For all this tech, the unisex jacket looks sleek and modern, with all the tech tucked away, and it is even machine washable. Ministry is launching the jacket through a Kickstarter campaign–priced at $295–in an effort to understand the market demand for this jacket and also finesse the prototype. It launched yesterday morning.