Sure, we may have internet in the skies and refrigerators with Evernote integration, but here's one thing that science can't do: deliver a trouble-free heated jacket. A few years after Ardica hung up the dream due to a battery recall, Columbia is doing likewise. The sportswear company has issued a recall for seven Omni-Heat electric jacket models, citing an issue with the rechargeable batteries within. Reportedly, these cells "have a defect which may cause them to overheat and pose a fire hazard." The company has received just a single report of an overheating battery from its distribution center in France, but evidently that's enough. According to the company's own statement on the matter, a "small number of the 2012 Columbia heated jackets may contain a heated inner wrist cuff component with a manufacturing flaw that may cause an electrical short to occur, giving rise to a potential burn risk."
If you'll recall, the Circuit Breaker was actually one of our favorite gadgets of 2011, but curiously, we never could pinpoint when and where these were set to go on sale. We were independently contacted by a company that claimed Columbia was using its technology in breach of contract, but never could verify if that was the reason sales seemed to be on hiatus. Evidently, a few hundred of these finally made their way into the warm embrace of consumers, but considering that "Refund" looks to be the only remedy here, we sort of doubt a second generation will emerge. It's important to note, however, that Columbia's non-electric Omni-Heat offerings aren't included in the recall -- and, for the record, that stuff does a stellar job of keeping one warm without any whiz-bang circuitry. Hit up the links below if you're thinking of sending yours back; personally, we'd recommend saving it for eBay. Calling this stuff "rare" is quite the understatement.
Filed under: Wearables