Smart Jackets Stop Identity Theft, Charge Phones and More

A new generation of jackets does more than keep you warm. There are smart vests and coats that help you bike in safety, charge your cellphone with solar energy, protect you from digital pickpocketing, correct your posture, or even give you a soothing massage.

SCOTTeVEST, for example, offers more than 40 outerwear styles, each with ingeniously placed pockets, designed for easy storage of electronic devices. Scott Jordan, company founder and frequent flier, says the 15-year-old company grew out of his frustration at having to fumble around and do the “gadget dance” at places like airport security lines. “I thought there had to be a better way to do this,” he says.

He came up with a pocket-peppered item to store all his gear, then consulted with a chiropractor after that first version, laden with tablet, phone, camera and more, proved painful after a day of wearing. Now, SCOTTeVEST garments are “designed and engineered so all the weight is balanced on the shoulders,” Jordan says.

One style from the company, the RFID travel vest for men, features 26 pockets, including spots for an iPad, digital camera, phone, a “personal area network” that allows you to store a battery back and to charge pocketed devices, an RFID-blocking pocket for passports, and credit cards and a narrow passage around the collar that allows you to thread in a pair of earbuds.

SCOTTeVEST jackets range from about $70 to $180, depending on the style. According to Jordan, they are ideal premium promotional items, and the construction of the pockets does allow for embroidery.

Below, check out the SCOTTeVEST and some other smart jackets on the market.