The Amsterdam designer Maium’s giant pink jacket, the one you can buy, retails for €499 (around $530). It’s a longer design that covers your arms and legs to keep you dry if you’re walking or biking in the rain. It also inflates! This helps increase its insulating powers, but also gives it some extra padding so you can use the whole thing as a blanket if you’re at the park. Better yet, you can convert the jacket into a hammock (yes, really) and take a nap inside of it. Naturally, there’s a zippered pouch in the front and back to store a tablet.
Finally, there’s the design from Kit Wan Studios from Hong Kong. This one’s a bit more out there thanks to the steampunk-esque pieces of metal poking out of the tactical vest. Loosen the vest and it doubles as a way to hold the tablet in place so you can use it handsfree. The rest of the outfit has a smart clip-on system to attach or detach several of its pieces in a modular fashion.
Lenovo’s Tab Wear Collection is hardly the first time the worlds of fashion and technology have blended. Google famously partnered with Levi’s to make denim jackets that could understand touch gestures to trigger certain activities on your smartphone, like advancing tracks in a playlist or finding the ETA of your Uber ride.
It’s not quite clothing, but Lenovo-owned Motorola also recently showed off a bendable smartphone display you can slap on your wrist like a bracelet. Up-and-coming Humane is also leaning heavily into fashion with its AI Pin, which debuted at Paris Fashion Week. I’ve always liked it when tech companies think beyond the routine of iterative upgrades and stir up some fresh product ideas instead. Lenovo’s concept is fun, though perhaps we should see the outdoors as a place to take a break from our screens rather than as a place where we can use them even more.
While I like Lenovo’s jackets, I’d rather see the company support the software on its tablets for a longer period by offering more Android upgrades and security fixes. Maybe then I’d spend $500 on a jacket to carry one everywhere.