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Scream at your Echo to heat up your jacket

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Image: Ministry of Supply

It’s winter in New York, and heated jackets exist. Even heated jackets with apps exist. But until now, there hasn’t been one that claims to be “intelligent” and able to automatically adjust to a wearer’s habits. Ministry of Supply launched a Kickstarter campaign today for its “Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket,” which it says will learn wearers’ behavior over time and adjust its heating patterns in turn.

The jacket has three heating elements: one in each pocket and one in the back. Those are powered by a 10,000mAh (swappable) battery that charges over USB Type-A. Overall, the jacket produces 10 watts of heat and can reach up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The heating elements turn off automatically if they exceed that temperature, Ministry of Supply tells me, and should only take 90 seconds to reach that peak. The jacket pairs with its companion iOS / Android app over Bluetooth and is machine washable.

Image: Ministry of Supply

I tried the jacket during an in-office demo, and the heating elements never felt too hot. It was tough to demo the jacket because it turns on for pre-heating for 90 seconds and then only stays on if it determines that you’re cold, through a thermistor inside the jacket. The jacket also accounts for outside temperature with external sensors. So, basically, it determined that I didn’t need extra heating, which was true. Because there’s an accelerometer inside the jacket as well, the heating elements also adjust based off how quickly you’re moving. You can always make manual adjustments through its companion app, however.

I think the company is really underselling its Alexa skill. Who doesn’t want to yell at Alexa to heat up their jacket right before they leave the house? This is our future here at Circuit Breaker. The Mercury is expected to ship in November and costs $295.