One day, iPods will be implanted under the skin with a clickwheel surgically adorning the back of our hands. Until then, there's always the next best thing – wearable technology. The leading proponent has been Burton with its line of iPod compatible jackets but now there's competition in the form of Kenpo.
It's nothing to do with a certain hot and spicy Chinese dish invented by a 'Kung Po' rank official in China. But we digress. Kenpo is an LA clothing manufacturer which just happens to have sewn a new British fabric control system into one of its jackets.
The company behind the technology is Buckinghamshire-based firm Eleksen who hold the fabric control patent. The buttons are woven into the actual threads of the Kenpo jacket's sleeve. A wire's then piped to a hi-tech 'pocket' where your iPod, mini or nano sits safe from muggers as you ride the bus, hit the slopes or whatever else you tend to wear a jacket for. It's machine washable too – once you've removed the electronic gubbins.
Given the Home Counties pedigree you might expect the $275 jacket to be widely available at a high street near you. Sadly, Kenpo only ships to the US and Canada. The good news is Elekson has also supplied the tech to Spyder which does sell its jackets here. The bad news is they cost £1,000 each.
If that's currently more than your car's worth then consider Burton's new Audex jackets with their boring old plastic controls – available in the new year.