Lucy brings wearable tech to market

I am loving this new running jacket made by Lucy equipped with a safety light that's integrated into the mid-back. The concept is all about visibility during your workout. Perfect for the darker fall and winter months, the Night Light Jacket has 360-degree reflectivity with three-inch light-up LED piping along the back and reflective zipper tape in the front. You can also zip-off the sleeves to turn the jacket into a running vest if it's too warm. It's one of the many wearable tech garments that have been hitting the market recently. The concept and technology is simple and basic, but it's a good introduction to a wider market audiences that is stylish and also affordable. So, I decided to take it for a test run... In general, the garment was nicely fitted and comfortable to wear during my run. The fabric was breathable and helped block the cold Seattle air. The technology was subtle enough that it wasn't bulky, uncomfortable, and it was discrete enough that it didn't draw too much public attention. It felt like a useful addition that added some safety and visibility during a dusk run. Even so, there were a few problems in the experience and interaction that could be improved.

Accessing the switch on the garment was not optimal. Because it's located on the back, I found it awkward to reach behind me to push the button. This could be improved by moving the push button into one of the front pockets so that it's still accessible from the inside to remove for washing and also easy and discrete to interact with in a more natural and comfortable way. I also had no way to see the status of the light while wearing the garment. I had to either ask someone if the light was on, off or blinking, or take the jacket off to see the status of the light. This could be improved if some LED piping was run to the front of the jacket and made visible somewhere that is easy to see while wearing it.

Washability with wearable tech garments is always a major challenge. This garment features an internal battery pocket for the LED lighting and a back zipper pocket to hold essentials. I found it very easy to remove the battery from the pocket...

...and unhook the led for machine washing. Keep it up Lucy. I can't wait for more products like this!

More info on the Nightlight Jacket at Lucy.