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IPod Controlling Jacket

While the jacket alone is worth the price, what really makes the Burton Audex iPod Field Jacket unique is the iPod remote control integration. The Audex-branded iPod remote comes in two parts: a remote receiver that plugs directly into your iPod's dock connection; and a remote control. Both the receiver and the remote use high-frequency radio signals to communicate with one another, with an expected range of 100 feet. While the Audex iPod remote receiver is basically a nondescript black nub that plugs into your iPod, the remote control has a little more going for it. The pebble-shaped Audex remote features five rubber buttons that control volume, track skip, and play/pause. Although the Audex remote is meant to be operated within the field jacket's custom-molded rubber compartment, it can also be used separately as a go-anywhere iPod remote. We found that the Audex iPod remote system worked flawlessly with both a fifth-generation video iPod and a third-generation iPod Nano.

iPod Controlling Jacket


For three large you could probably fashion a coat entirely out ofiPod shuffles, but Spyder is selling a new $3,000 skijacket with integrated iPod controls on the sleeve (they do throw in aniPod photo). The jacket, which makes Burton's iPod jacketseem cheap, uses Eleksen's smart fabric technology (they also makefabric keyboards for smartphones and PDAs) and will beavailable in limited numbers this September.

Styled for guys, these mid-weight jackets are available in sizes Small through XX Large and in come in Black or Silver, with or without hoods. The exterior of the jacket is made of a satin-like polyester that looks to be somewhat water repellent. The interior of the jacket is also made of 100% polyester, and is fuzzy and warm.

On the inside of the jacket, there is one open square pocket on the right breast, and the iPod pockets are opposite on the right breast. The iPod compartments are comprised of two vertical pockets with a large Velcro flap, and then an open horizontal pocket on top.

I had asked them for size SMALL, but they mistakenly sent me LARGE. When I read the label, I was disappointed because I knew the jacket would probably swallow me. Guess what? It fits perfect! Let that be a lesson though as I am 5 foot 5.75 inches tall, weigh 123 lbs, and normally wear size 4. Anyone much bigger than me, will probably want an Extra Large.

The hood is removable and also has a removable fur trim. The sleeve has the familiar iPod touch controls like their previous jackets. The module that you use to connect to your iPod looks almost identical to the one shown above, except that this one is compatible with all 30 pin dock connector iPods.

The only thing that keeps this jacket from being the perfect winter coat for me personally, is that it lacks side hand-warmer slash pockets. Yes, it does have front pockets, but I prefer side pockets.

Burton Snowboards has started shipping its new Audex jacket, the company’s top-of-the-line jacket that fuses the best material the company offers with high-tech connectivity. The Audex combines the iPod-controlling features of Burton’s iPod Shield Jacket (US$379.95) with BlueTooth, for cell phone compatibility. Users can control their iPod, make phone calls, and view who is calling all from the digital display and controls on the sleeve. Speakers and a mic are built into the jacket’s collar, as well.

The Aduex is available in limited quantities for US$599. Apple authorized reseller Small Dog Electronics is the exclusive online reseller of the iPod Shield and Audex jacket and reports receiving a number in stock today.

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Three new jackets in the Burton line, the Ronin 2 Layer iPod Jacket, the Radar 2 Layer iPod Jacket and the Burton Shield iPod Jacket, also utilize SOFTswitch(tm) technology to incorporate an iPod control system. Featuring progressive styling from the Ronin, Radar and Burton outerwear lines, the jackets have an updated, flexible control pad located on the sleeve to control the iPod. The iPod itself is stored safely in a specially designed, EVA padded chest pocket. The Ronin 2 Layer, Radar 2 Layer and Burton Shield Jackets are constructed with highly breathable, two-layer waterproof fabric and are machine washable when the iPod interface module is removed.

The fully waterproof breathable shell on both jackets are fully wired for iPod/iTouch/iPhone gear, featuring an external joystick pad on the forearm. An attached RECCO reflector aids rescue in the event of a snowstorm, and the Pant-a-locks system lets you create a snow-free seal with compatible pants.

Technical specs for the Hustle include a HyVent 2L oxford shell with embossed taffeta lining, underarm zips for core venting, fully taped seams and powder skirt with a removable hood for skiing and snowboarding. The Northface Hustle iPod jacket has a hell of a lot of pockets too- 2 hand pockets, 1 security pocket, 1 bicep pocket, 1 wrist pocket, 1 internal media pocket and 1 internal goggle pocket- 7 in all.

Getting back to the main point of the jackets, the North Face Hustle Audio Jacket for men and the North Face Femphonic Audio Jacket for women come in a few colors, and save you from removing your gloves to change songs on the iPod, hence keeping you nice, warm and toasty throughout the entire journey.

This black Ralph Lauren RLX Aero Type Jacket features super-resistant double layered fabric and has arm-mounted controls for your iPod, so that you can control your portable media player without taking it out of your pocket. The shell is made out microfiber and the jacket has adjustable cuffs as well as drawcords. The jacket also includes the RECCO avalanche rescue system if you ever get lost while out on the slopes.

If you want evidence of the iPod economy's ability to move markets, look no further than the fashion industry. Late last year Kenpo became the third company to offer a jacket with iPod integration, following in the footsteps of Burton and O'Neill, while earlier this month Levi's announced that a new pair of jeans would debut this year with an integrated iPod pocket and controls.

Kenpo distinguishes itself by being the first to bring iPod integration to more casual wears. Snowboarding jackets are great if you participate in winter sports or live in more frigid areas, but they tend to be overkill and bulky looking for people living in most parts of the U.S.

Available in black or sliver with bright yellow trim, the Kenpo jacket sports clean lines and a relaxed appearance. The jacket is relatively light weight but the fleece lining makes it surprisingly warm, capable of keeping us toasty as temperatures hovered around 40 degrees F without the need for extra winter layers underneath. The outer shell provides protection from precipitation, while three zippered outer pockets protect your belongings.

iPod integration is covertly tucked away inside the jacket. A typical inner pocket is replaced on the jacket's left side with a lined pocket for your iPod barely bigger than the iPod/iPod mini itself (you may need to leave your case at home). A controller that plugs into your iPod sits in a pocket next to that, while a larger pocket for storing earphones, extra wire, or anything else is available below.

Five buttons controlling Play/Pause, Track Forward, Track Back, Volume Up, and Volume Down functions are discreetly located towards the end of the left sleeve. The controls are colored just a couple shades lighter than the jacket's outer shell, keeping things inconspicuous, and are ever so slightly reflective, meaning even in low light conditions selecting the right action is easy.

Because all it takes is a push to toggle any of the jacket's iPod controls, the controls themselves lock out after a seven second period of inactivity. Unlocking the controls requires pressing the Track Forward button for three seconds, after which all the controls become usable. It sounds simple enough, but in application proved often to be cumbersome. Say you run into a friend who wants to talk to you: rather than yanking out your earphones as you normally would, you want to take advantage of your new jacket's capabilities. But hang on—or rather, tell your friend to hang on—because you'll need a few seconds to unlock the controls and then pause the music.

Similarly, look at a scenario where a track that doesn't suit your mood starts to play. You spend a few seconds again unlocking the controls, then skipping to the next track. You're not sure immediately what the next track is (since there is no display on the jacket's sleeve), so you wait until the track gets going to decide you don't want to hear that one either. But wait! The sleeve's controls have since locked themselves out again, so you must wait another few seconds to unlock them and skip to the next track. All the while you could have just reached into your pocket and changed the track immediately yourself, the old fashioned way (pardon the pun).

Here we also see perhaps why Kenpo is the first company to produce a more casual jacket with iPod integration. Burton and O'Neill's jackets seem to make more sense, after all when you're bundled up on the slopes and wearing big gloves the last thing you want to be fiddling with on the lift is your unprotected iPod, but when you're roaming around town such protection and indirect accessibility is less necessary.

Fortunately, the Kenpo jacket is well enough constructed that if its looks strike your fancy, the iPod integration is simply a nice a perk to have when you need it, assuming the jacket's $275 price tag fits your budget.

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