Whether you’re basking in triple-digit temperatures or frowning over a triple-digit power bill this July, we thought you’d enjoy this news out of Japan about air conditioned clothing.  Japan’s Kuchofuku Co. Ltd. makes clothing designed to help individuals beat the heat even if they’re standing outside on a steamy summer day.

“It came to me that we don’t need to cool the entire room, just as long as people in it feel cool,” the company’s president and founder explains.

The jackets are designed with small, battery-powered fans along with a patented plastic mesh system to encourage air to circulate. Even though they are affordable to some – they sell for a not-cheap but not-astronomical $140 – they’ve typically been used primarily in niche markets, such as industries that require workers to wear heavy uniforms that are especially uncomfortable in hot weather.

As far as the mainstream market goes, it seems that even the most compact batteries leave air conditioned clothing looking a little bit bulky, and not really appropriate for the fashion-conscious or people who just want to blend in. Sales are on the rise, however, amid a warm summer and ongoing power shortages in Japan.

These products are not yet widely available in the U.S., probably because it’s hard for most people, most of the year, to imagine wearing such an item. Then, right about this point in the summer, things like air conditioned clothing, beds, or even air conditioned dog houses, start to soundappealing.

Whether or not you’re interested in investing in your own personal cooling system, Kuchofuku’s cool clothing does highlight the waste that is too often a part of cooling us in our homes or places of work, and the need for more targeted and efficient solutions.