NavJacket Guides Skiers With Built-In Display, Headphones

The NavJacket by O'Neill and MyGuide is so amazing, I'm concealing it from the snowboarders in my family. NavJacket uses GPS to guide you on the slopes; you can check your location with the handy flexible digital sleeve display. Audio instructions are also provided in the hood.

(NavJacket by O'Neill and MyGuide)

The NavJacket is the product of a partnership between O’Neill’s Wearable Electronics Department - the H Division, and MyGuide, with expertise in delivering navigation solutions based on GPS technology.

NavJacket will also connect to your cell phone (natch!); this feature can pull 3D views of selected resorts into your view, along with points of interest.

You can also track down friends, following their path through the slopes. I assume this also provides handy avalanche-related features; you watch your friend take a wrong turn, you hear the rumbling sound, then you can tell the ski patrol where to start digging.

If you already know where you are on the slope, be aware that the NavJacket doesn’t just stop with navigation. Your current speed, up-to-date local weather forecasts, and in-depth details about your route, such as distance and time have all been incorporated into the flexible display sleeve on the jacket using the latest technology.

You can start saving for this jacket - a price is not available, and it won't be ready to wear until the 2008 ski season. Unless, of course, you are one of their beta testers in the Swiss Alps - in which case, you'll be wearing the NavJacket this winter for free.

I'm trying to figure out where my fascination with electronics-enhanced clothing comes from, sf-wise. I've covered items like the MP3 Player Jacket Has Control Sleeves (as modeled by German supermodel Naike), the Digital Lederhosen (a bavarian style MP3 player - uh, imagine yourself in leather shorts) and the Solar-Powered Trackable Clothing.

The earliest reference I know for built-in electronics in clothing is the sleeve communicator from Murray Leinster's classic (and retro-Hugoed, if I'm not mistaken) story First Contact.

He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped:

"Action stations! Man all weapons! Condition of extreme alert in all departments immediately!"
(Read more about Leinster's sleeve communicator)

For sleeve-based screens, take a look at Larry Niven and Steve Barnes' sleeve watch.

Read more at O'Neill launches the NavJacket.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/14/2007)

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