It’s official: Solar-charging jackets and smart shoes go on sale in Japan

First to wear the market-staggering Smart Helmet from Airbot, a company that specializes in head-up displays for fighter jets and off-road vehicles. To customers in Japan, the jackets and boots are already a thing,…

It’s official: Solar-charging jackets and smart shoes go on sale in Japan

First to wear the market-staggering Smart Helmet from Airbot, a company that specializes in head-up displays for fighter jets and off-road vehicles.

To customers in Japan, the jackets and boots are already a thing, but now the “Made for Japan Innovations” team at MOTO Lab2 has announced in partnership with the Japanese Electricity Regulatory Commission that it will put a solar panel onto their jackets, promising a month’s electricity for every square meter of battery that can be charged.

The raw batteries are reportedly so light that they can be inflated and reused after just four years.

Two brands — the first is the Japan-based company Kana and the second is AI Workwear — just released wearables with electronics that the Japanese Federal Police will soon start patrolling Tokyo. These particular pair of hardhats are rugged — users will be able to watch the live feed from their smartphones as they patrol in and around train stations.

For now, while these are promising in some ways, with more eyes on the streets of Japan, the potential for problems looms large. The government has a strict no-smartphone policy for ordinary citizens, and not many of them have the capacity to recharge their watch batteries on a weekly basis.

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