Amazon Alexa is truly being integrated into everything. Even apparel. Today performance apparel company Ministry of Supply launched a voice-enabled, intelligent jacket called the Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket on Kickstarter. The jacket’s removable and rechargeable battery heats three carbon fiber heating elements which allow the Mercury to adjust the jacket’s temperature, create the ideal microclimate for each individual wearer. The Mercury also feature machine learning technology which allows the jacket to get better at automatically adjusting its temperature based on the user’s preferences over time. And until then, the user can adjust their temperature through the Mercury smart phone app due to a built-in Bluetooth sensor inside the garment.
Voice Technology with Style
But Ministry of Supply took it one step further. The company partnered with RAIN Agency to create a Smart Home skill for Alexa that connects with the jacket’s Bluetooth sensor enabling the user to control their Mercury’s temperature with voice commands. One example is a user can simply ask their Amazon Echo, “Alexa, turn my jacket on” to have their Mercury coat warm up before they head out the door. Users can also ask Alexa to turn their jacket off. But according to RAIN’s CTO, Steven Hansen, they plan to expand the skill’s capabilities even further.
For the full version of the jacket that will be completed this fall, we plan to build a full custom skill that will allow for a variety of other commands and even getting data back from the jacket remotely
The use of the Smart Home Skill API for a garment is a creative use case and demonstrates that Alexa can be integrated into more than just appliances. Regardless if users embrace the voice controls of the Mercury jacket, the Kickstarter campaign is already a success. The project has already more than doubled its $72,000 goal as of this afternoon.
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