The Gadgets Page

April 24, 2008

Wearable Technology Is Cool But How Effective Is It?

Filed under: Clothing — Thom Allen @ 9:51 am

Zegna Solar Jacket Today I ran across this really cool jacket from a company called Zegna. The Solor JKT has collar mounted solar panels capable of charging and providing power to many small electronic devices.

I’ve seen clothing like this in the past, most notably is the ScottEVest which came out sometime in early 2001, and has morphed into several different styles. The difference between the two is the Solar JKT uses the sun to power and charge your devices. The Scott Vest doesn’t provide any charging capabilities.

The jacket isn’t really designed to be worn year round. If you live in a warm climate the thought of wearing a jacket all the time is just not feasible. Not too mention the collar is bulky and looks uncomfortable.

However, a really cool feature of the jacket is the ability to remove the solar panel from the collar and use it separately to power devices. The ability to use the solar panels without the jacket makes this “gadget” something to look at.

Some of the features:

  • Cell phones, mp3 and other devices powered at 5 or 6 volts
  • Withstands limited exposure to water – advises not to clean by submersion
  • Solar cells should be used “perpendicular” to the sun
  • Detachable collar from jacket
  • Recommended device power be at least 50% or greater
  • Takes up 4 hours to fully recharge a device
  • Has USB adapter
  • Adapters for most cell phone charging ports
  • Adapter for charging iPods

There are plenty of alternatives to an electric article of clothing. The price is high enough to exclude the average Joe. The wow factor is high because it support a large number of devices.

I’m pretty sure the Zenga won’t bank it’s future on the sales of the Solar JKT.

Thom Allen is also the writer of Digital Thom.


  1. Nice post. Our jacket actually had all those features and more, and it looked better and was also removable and could be used as a stand alone feature. We found that although very “cool” and it garnered tons of attention, most consumers were not ready for this technology, especially when it is so much easier to use auxiliary batteries, which are much cheaper and readily available.

    Scott Jordan, CEO SCOTTEVEST

    Comment by Scott Jordan — April 24, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

  2. Scott,

    Thanks for commenting. Wearable technology still has a long way to go, if ever, to be mainstream.

    Personally, it’s not about storage, but what can the technology I’m wearing do for me? Without the garment actually doing something, it’s just a backpack with sleeves, no?

    Comment by Thom Allen — April 24, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  3. All Of that i JUst Want to Say that it was MindBlowing

    Comment by syed shams ali — December 27, 2008 @ 1:58 am

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