It's a perfect day atop Mount Paradise and you're considering one last long comtemplative ski run. You press a button on your sleeve and an iPod concealed in your jacket pipes bucolic music to your jacket's headphones. Just then your cell phone rings. Touch another button and you're in communication with your buddy at the lodge, using the headset and a built-in microphone. Turns out there's a party at the chalet. Better make it a quick run. Click! Now you're hearing "Born to Be Wild." Beam me down, Scotty.
As if materialized from the pages of a sci-fi script, the Limited Edition jacket from Spyder Active Sports Inc. outfits today's state-of-the-art ski bum with the wiring to store all his electronics and operate them with push-button ease. With features such as attachable headphones, built-in microphone, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and an Apple iPod Nano that is controlled via a control panel on the sleeve, odds are you won't have to hit the powder to have fun in this garment.
But if you do decide to get physical, don't worry about breaking any wires or metal contacts. The Limited Edition's most cutting-edge bragging point is the newly conceived conductive fabric (ElekTex), which can transmit electrical impulses regardless of the most rigorous task. "We ran the prototype over with a Ford Escort many times to make sure it had durability. It kept on ticking," says Rebecca Parkhurst, a spokewoman for Eleksen Group PLC, the maker of the ElekTex fabric. Noteworthy data for the double black diamond skier; or anyone whose neurotic ex happens to drive an Escort.
Even the five-digit control panel on the left sleeve consists of a carbon-embedded textile that operates without the conventional nuts and bolts circuitry. Passive locking control ensures that your favorite song or a phone call to that special snow bunny won't be deactivated as a result of any incidental contact. If the buttons are not touched for more than seven seconds, the keypad will lock. For reactivation, hold the + button for two seconds. The Spyder will also pause your music for incoming phone calls.
Let's not forget creature comforts or practicality. With the use of X-Static fiber technology, the Spyder LE not only conducts warmth throughout the garment, but counteracts perspiration using fragments of real silver that are bound to the jacket. This alloy's antimicrobial makeup prevents odor-causing bacteria without compromising the Limited Edition's heat-conductive properties. Just the kind of effort you might expect from a garment that comes with an anticounterfeit authenticity label and individual serial number.
The jacket has a suggested retail price of $2,500. Matching pants retail for $700.
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