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Review: Kenpo 'Made-For-iPod' Jacket

Though iPods are designed for portability, they’re not that easy to use on the slopes while snowboarding – especially if you’re wearing heavy gloves. Kenpo, Inc., hopes to solve that problem by enabling you to keep your iPod in the jacket’s inner pocket and control it without taking it out.

Kenpo offers two versions of the jacket: the MKT-023, a lighter hooded jacket, and the MKT-07, a slightly heavier fleece-lined jacket. I looked at the MKT-07.

Music control is accomplished from a touchpad on the bottom of the left sleeve. The fabric controller has five large, built-in buttons: Volume Up, Volume Down, Previous, Play/Pause and Forward.

The Kenpo jackets are based on technology called ElecTex licensed from Elecsen Limited. It includes a patented, 100 percent fabric control system made of three layers of “Smart Fabric.” An iPod is then plugged into the controller found in the inside pocket of the jacket, which operates the five-button switch sensor on the sleeve. The beauty behind the whole system is that it is all powered by the iPod – no need to carrying around built-in batteries.

The Jacket supports 3rd through 5th generation iPod models (though 5th generation models require a different controller, which is provided by Kenpo) and is also machine washable (you still need to unplug the controller from the inside.)

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