Discovering Ministry of Supply’s Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket

The Boston-native brand goes back to Kickstarter for the release of its new AI-powered heated jacket

in brief

Ministry of Supply launched a crowdfunding campaign destined to back the launching of an innovative smart jacket. The innovative cloth pairs machine learning to the wearable garment to operate like a permanent beta software tailored to its wearer.

Like a return to its roots (given the company launched in 2012 its first-ever product on the Kickstarter platform), Ministry of Supply is crowdfunding an innovative smart jacket baptized Mercury that’s built for anything, like automatically heating to the right temperature, and learning your behavior to get better over time, like a permanent beta software. The garment itself is the umpteenth test for the company as it looks to push the boundaries of what defines performance wear.

“Wearable tech is such a buzz word. How can we actually integrate technology really seamlessly? We’d never done it before. It’s all been at the fiber level.” Aman Advani, CEO of Ministry of Supply

The Mercury jacket, for men and women, uses machine-learning so that the garment automatically turns on at the first sense of motion and can be voice-controlled using personal assistant devices like Amazon Alexa. A thermometer within the jacket responds to the environment’s temperature and then adjusts accordingly.

« Our design process is grounded in the intersection between form and function. We start with you, the wearer — and your day — and use that as a point of inspiration for our products. For Mercury, we started by thinking about how to make the commute more comfortable, focusing on temperature regulation as the main challenge expressed during our research. » Ministry of Supply’s Design Team official statement

Crowdfunded via a campaign on Kickstarter that kicked-off yesterday (February 21), the jacket has already trebled its initial donations goal, to reach over $150K in pledges.

« Our team is a mix of engineers and product designers with deep expertise in the apparel sector. Jarlath, who led the design process, was the former design director at Brooks Brothers and Theory. Sherri, who led product development, has worked in development at numerous outdoor and athletic brands. Brian and Gihan do the product engineering and production — with backgrounds as mechanical and chemical engineers, respectively. The rest of the team keeps the clothing on the shelves and makes sure you look good. » Ministry of Supply’s Design Team official statement

The Mercury Jacket is far from being the first trial for Ministry of Supply, which regularly experiments with different applications of tech to fashion. Last year, the brand rolled out a 3-D knitting machine within its Boston store so that customers could actually witness the process of their garment being made. In late November, the company tested a thermal mirror in a pop-up shop at Santa Monica Place that created heat maps of a person’s body with the information, then used it to create a sweater tailor-made with ventilation, based on where a person produces more heat.

With deliveries expected in November, you can make a pledge in the meantime to be among the first to get your hands on the sought-after jacket, starting US$ 195.

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