Sad news from the Indiegogo world: the VentureHeat Evolve hoodie, basically an electric blanket for your torso, didn’t reach its crowdfunding goal and may not see the light of day.
I previewed the VentureHeat heated hoodie when it first debuted on Indiegogo, as it showed great promise for those of us who battle the cold on a daily basis. With any luck that preview won’t be the only time the Evolve hoodie makes my radar, and we’ll see it available for purchase within the next year.
My optimism in that happening is tempered not because of the company’s dedication to keeping folks warm. That’s unchanged, and VentureHeat still has some new options like this heated softshell, which looks nice. Instead, I’m only cautiously optimistic because the company is, after all, a business, meaning it only succeeds if it sells. Crowdfunding platforms can be a good way to evaluate demand. With the VentureHeat Evolve hoodie raising just over one-third of its fundraising goal, the product developers will have a harder time advancing this concept past management and into production.
The Evolve hoodie used a 2-amp or higher USB battery to warm-up two electric-blanket-like sections on the chest and one in the back. It had three heat settings, each of which balanced heat output with battery life. When set to 125 degrees Fahrenheit, you’d have an estimated 3.5 hours of battery life. At 115 degrees, the battery usage would’ve increased to about 7.5 hours, while you could’ve eeked out an estimated 12 hours of battery life with the temperature set at 105 degrees.
VentureHeat’s concept was sound, as they’ve shown in the Escape USB-heated softshell. In fact, I imagine the hoodie simply took the guts from that jacket and put them into an item you could’ve worn sans shell. But a concept without a market is just a good idea, not a sellable one. Here’s hoping the Indiegogo campaign doesn’t deter the company from moving ahead with the project, even if it’s just on a different timeline. The VentureHeat Evolve hoodie sure seems like a useful product for people who struggle to overcome the cold.