This season’s must-have look is the personal space jacket.
Without a word of a lie, you can take literally all my money in exchange for this. The inspired brainwave of Leonardo Hotels, the ‘space optimiser’ jacket, as they’re dubbing it, is the handy barrier you need to keep you at a safe distance from sharp-elbowed commuters and the deodorant-averse.
This (presumably soon to be Nobel Peace Prize-winning) invention is simple, yet effective: it’s an inflatable jacket which creates an exclusion zone of eighteen inches, reportedly the minimum amount needed to feel in control of one’s own personal space. It can be quickly inflated in the event of a sudden swarm of commuters – Oxford Circus, I’m looking at you – and whilst the Tube is obviously fertile ground for such an invention, it can handily navigate the likes of weddings, gigs, and Boxing Day sales with the minimum of fuss.
The hotel group conceived of the prototype after commissioning a study which found that 21% of Brits who’ve never visited London are put off by the busyness and lack of personal space. (Yes, we see your point, but still, come anyway!) At present, it’s only a prototype, but the hotel has mooted the option of providing it for guests if it proves popular enough (they’re advising you tweet the #SpaceOptimiser to get it made). Kind of ruins any chance you had of blending in though, doesn’t it?
It’d certainly come in handy on London’s most stressful Tube line, wouldn’t it?
Also published on Medium.