Perfect for Hot Flights on Asian Airlines, Sony is Developing Wearable Air Conditioning

One of the great mysteries of life — along with why, if 7-11s are open 24 hours a day, they still have locks on their doors — is why some airlines keep their cabins so warm. Asian airlines, in particular, are known for keeping the cabins like sweat boxes during flight.

Or maybe you’re just making a stop in Doha – during summer – while flying Qatar Airways Qsuites so you can visit the al Safwa lounge and the Museum of Islamic Art… or visiting Delta headquarters in Hotlanta.


Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Resort in Dubai Would Be Unbearable in Summer Without This

In all of these situations one of the most brilliant ideas may be about to come to fruition, a personal wearable air conditioner. In fact, Sony is crowdfunding one and it’s meant to just slip into a pouch in a specially designed t-shirt.

The stealthy device doesn’t condition the air as such. Rather, it sits at the base of your neck and uses the Peltier effect (where heat is absorbed or emitted when you pass an electrical current across a junction) to either lower your temperature by 23F or raise it by 14F, all without bulk or noise. You could wear a stuffy business outfit on a hot day and avoid looking like you’ve just stepped out of a sauna.

It’s supposed to ship in the Japanese market in March, priced around $120, and will be controlled using an app and bluetooth.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Asian carriers primarily cater to Asian customers who tend to dislike strong A/C, which I think is partly a function of body composition and partly a function of acclimation. For example, most Japanese people sleep at home with the A/C off, except in the very hottest weeks of summer. To them, it’s easier to sleep when the temperature is in the high 70s than when it’s in the mid 60s. (Lived there for several years and brought a wife back with me, and she has to layer up whenever we stay at my parents’ house.)

  2. Asian blog: “One of the great mysteries of life — along with why, if 7-11s are open 24 hours a day, they still have locks on their doors — is why some airlines keep their cabins so cold. U.S. airlines, in particular, are known for keeping the cabins like ice boxes during flight.”

  3. The 7-11 thing isn’t a mystery. What happens if all staff call in sick and you need to close the store? What happens if you want to close for a deep clean or a refurbishment?

    And buying that type of door without a lock would be a niche item and likely cost more money, why would you spend the extra?

  4. @Jay – You can wear a sweater and use the included blanket to get warmer, while no such option exists to get cooler. Since no Asian airline that I’ve experienced uses individual air nozzles or keeps the plane cool, it’s pretty much the sauna effect.

  5. Thanks for the info I’ll make sure not to fly any Asian airlines, I have no desire to visit anywhere in Asia anyway

  6. Another mystery is why Americans like to keep it so cold. Before I head to the airport or the grocery store, I always make sure to have a sweater with me. And an even bigger mystery is when I see Americans wearing shorts in those places or even in the middle of winter!

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