Every time a startup surpasses their goal, an angel gets its wings? Well not exactly, but it does receive an impressive amount of press coverage. The latest Kickstarter wonder kid is Ministry of Supply. Of their original goal, which was €58,560, they have, with the help of 1,013 backers, already reached €245,289 with 26 days still to go.
Mercury Jacket, Everything-proof & Then Some
The latest tech buzz has been about Ministry of Supply’s functional and voice-controlled intelligent outerwear. Called the Mercury, the heated jacket has been designed to learn the wearer’s behaviour, so it can automatically heat the coat to their optimal temperature. The high selling point is the fact that the coat has the ability to get better over time. It does this by creating a microclimate for your body using real-time reactive and proactive heating. This allows it to adapt heat and to constantly optimise your body temperature. Using the accelerometer, body temperature, and outside temperature, Mercury triangulates the perfect amount of heat, so you don’t have to worry about overheating. Because of Mercury’s machine learning capability, the more feedback you input into the app the better it gets at learning your preferences.
“At The core of Mercury are three carbon fibre heating elements that heat all at once, strategically placed to disappear into the jacket.”
The Ministry of Supply team explains further: “The Mercury heating system runs on a standard USB, 2-amp output battery. With a 10,000mAh battery, you can get up to 4.5 hours of continuous heat at max power. Using our machine learning to control power output, we can power approximately one week of commuting use on a single charge (based on an average 20-30-minute commute).”
Adding; “At the core of Mercury are three carbon fibre heating elements that heat all at once, strategically placed to disappear into the jacket. At just 100g, flexible, and 1mm thin (that’s thinner than a dime), you’ll barely notice the heaters. These heaters can deliver 10 watts of heating power nearly instantaneously, reaching up to 135ºF/57ºC, the same temperature as a cup of coffee.”
Smart Jacket, Functional, Yes, Beautiful, Well!
The Mercury brags impressive smart jacket features. This is the kind of functional jacket that you can activate with your voice through a smart assistant like Amazon Alexa. The wearer can also enjoy intelligent heating thanks to the weightless built-in heaters. There is an intelligent thermostat that reacts to your environment, learning your preferences as you go. Designed to last, the Mercury is a durable and everything proof jacket that is ready to repel wind, snow, water, and odour. Functional and pre-trained, the outerwear has multiple pockets, wireless phone charging, a removable hood, and it can automatically turn on when it senses motion or external temperature drops.
Ministry of Supply was launched five years ago by two guys in Boston. Gihan and Ahman took a scientific approach to design, with the aim to invent clothing that is both comfortable and looks great. Personally, I think that they get five stars for coming up with a jacket that offers excellent service to the wearer, but when it comes to style, I am sorry to say that gives off some serious ‘one for the dads’ vibe. By this, I mean that I can see my dad loving the ‘clean and sleek’ look that the jacket embodies, but I am afraid that anyone under 30 will most likely not be drawn to the Mercury. Although the jacket was designed by former design director at Brooks Brothers and Theory, it just doesn’t have the same good looks as the Rochambeau Jacket (created in partnership with Avery Dennison). Instead, this is a jacket that I would throw on to walk the dog or go for a run. If I was going to dinner or an event, I would definitely prefer the more stylishly beautiful Emel and Aris coat over the Mercury.
“Five stars for coming up with a jacket that offers excellent service to the wearer, but when it comes to style, I am sorry to say that Mecury gives off some serious ‘one for the dads’ vibe.”
That being said, there is no denying that this is a jacket that would appeal to the those who enjoy a good workout outside. They will be able to enjoy the 4-way stretch shell that provides mobility, the heated hand-warmer pockets, its ability to absorb and neutralise odour and the 2-layer waterproof breathable membrane that will keep you dry in harsh conditions. If you prefer to layer your look when you work out there is a vest, too which has got all of the same specs as the jacket.
Machine washable and easy to care for, the jacket allows you to charge your phone wirelessly with the jacket’s battery pack. Available in jet black or navy, those who back their Kickstarter campaign will be able to get the $325.00 (USD) Mercury Vest for $195.00 (USD) and for the Mercury Jacket that will be priced $495.00 (USD), you will be able to grab for $280 (USD). Shipping to anywhere in the world, the Mercury jacket will be delivered to you around November 2018. Want to back this smart jacket Kickstarter project?