Opening Ceremony And Mophie's Phone-Charging Varsity Jacket Looks Pretty Cool, But Is This Wearable Tech Thing Getting Out Of Hand?
What a wonderfully weird time we live in, no? Opening Ceremony and mophie have created a phone charging varsity jacket, for all you retro-fashion obsessed Twitter addicts out there. The gold and black jacket is unisex, meaning you can switch coats with all your friends as soon as any of them go into the battery red zone when you're out. Sweet.
Like Michael Kors with his charging cases and OC's legit Intel-powered and pretty MICA bracelet, fashion accessories and items with smartphone capabilities are increasingly popular. So why doesn't this one feel as, well, groundbreaking? Is the OC x mophie jacket wearable tech for the sake of being wearable tech? Is the concept starting to feel commonplace already?
This snazzy black and gold jacket, which looks like something rapper Drake would wear, has all the right components and elements to be a success. Lookswise, It's urban chic. It's celeb-friendly, as Beyonce, Rihanna, Jessica Alba, and Chris Brown have all sported the previous (and likely power station-less) version of the varsity topper. It's got a $465, high fashion price tag. It's powered by a mophie and it will charge any phone via the embedded power station, which links to a charging cord in the jacket pocket. It's also mophie's first wearable collaboration piece, plus it has a limited to a run of 100, making it feel super exclusive.
But while this coat might make you popular at any social event where people's phones are dying and outlets are scarce or in use, I'm sorta ready for a nap. Perhaps I am underwhelmed because the Intel MICA bracelet was just announced and that is more my speed, in terms of its prettiness.
Humberto Leon, co-founder and creative director for Opening Ceremony, explained the brand's reasoning for this collab, saying, "Carol and I use our phones a lot, especially when we're traveling, and we always turn to mophie's products to keep us charged, often carrying them in our pockets through airports, and while running around town."
OK, sure. That makes perfect sense. But so does this: If you need a mophie Juice Pack, why not…buy and carry the mophie Juice Pack in your pocket?
The same can sorta be said for the MICA smart bracelet. In addition to its smart phone abilities, those on your VIP list can reach you, which lends an element of James Bond-ness. But all in all, if you just need to check your Facebook updates, why not just use your smart phone instead of a bangle?
"Mobile technology is as much a part of what we wear as our clothes are, so every product we create must be as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional," Ross Howe, mophie's marketing VP, said. "It's why these types of collaborations seem very natural for us."
It sounds as though a jacket like this is about making tech look good. Anyone can get a mophie case. The truly fashionable can will get a jacket powered by a mophie battery and that doubles as a charging hub.
You know, anytime I bring my secondary phone charger when I am on the go, visiting clients, and spending the day out of the office, I plug in as soon as I can, to juice up and to stay powered and plugged in. So many of my colleagues don't do the same and often ask to borrow my cord because they are at the dreaded three percent battery life and are about to go dark and become disconnected from all of civilization, thus threatening their survival.
Of course I am not stingy and I lend them my cord for 10 minutes or so.
All of this got me thinking a little differently, even if I am slightly underwhelmed. A jacket such as this might be pretty functional for someone like me. I could see the aforementioned associates that don't plan ahead asking to plug into my jacket. Hey, at least I could write then stylish jacket off as a business expense.