Occasionally when we write about wearables on Health Tech Insider, the topic is clothing. Smart shirts are most common. In the past few months, for example, we wrote about Chronolife’s KeeSense smart t-shirt developed for remote patient monitoring. We covered MIT’s work with electronic sensors in stretchable fabric fashioned into T-shirts to monitor vital signs. Xenoma and Shinki Group are working on an e-skin upper body garment that detects driver drowsiness and uses visual and audible alerts to signal drivers.

Sony’s Reon Pocket is a shirt that helps you keep cool or warm, depending on the season and your preferences. The Reon Pocket consists of a T-shirt the company refers to as “innerwear” and a thermal device that fits in a dedicated pocket in the back. The target market is business people who are out and about during working hours and want an unobtrusive way to add a little warmth or cooling. The Reon Pocket device rests directly on the top of the spine, just below the spot where a business shirt collar ends.

A dedicated smartphone app controls the Reon Pocket temperature setting, choosing from Cool, Warm, and Off. There are three manual setting levels for both Cool and Warm. In Auto Mode sensors in the device detect body temperature and automatically adjust depending on wearer preference and activity. For example, if a wearer prefers to stay cool, the cooling function on Auto Mode would start with weak cooling but increase the effect automatically when the person continued walking (and presumably got hotter due to the exertion). Sony thermal imaging graphics show the shirt cooling at 13-degrees Celsius below air temperature and warming by 8.3-degrees Celsius. Sony states the heat dissipation mechanism that cools the human skin required hundreds of simulations.

Sony manufactures the Reon Pocket shirt from fine fiber polyester with water absorption and quick-drying properties. Sony designed the shirt with flat seams for comfort when wearing under a business shirt. You can’t expect the Reon Pocket to keep you cool or warm all day, however. The device’s rechargeable battery cools or heats up to 2.5 hours, depending on the temperature and selected level. Recharging takes two hours. The Reon Pocket is currently available on Sony’s Japanese online store for 13,000 yen (about $124 U.S.). You can also buy extra shirts to use with the device for about $20 each.