Gadgets

This is the world’s first smart coat and it’s surprisingly brilliant

First it was phones, then it was watches - now even coats are getting 'smart'.

That's not a comment on the formal credentials of Lyle & Scott's new jacket (you wouldn't wear this to dinner): the Contactless Jacket has some neat technology hidden up its sleeve - literally.

Integrated into the right cuff of the jacket is a Barclay bPay chip - about the size of a SIM card - sealed in a small velcro pouch. By tapping the cuff on a contactless payment point, users can pay for anything costing up to £30 (the new contactless limit, due to roll out across the country this month).

We've been testing out the new Contactless Jacket for a week: while bPay isn't a new technology, it's a surprisingly convenient use of the payment system.

While thumping your smartphone or Apple Watch onto contactless payment points holds some risks (foremost, scuffing your tech, secondly, declaring to the world you've got something worth pinching), there's no scrambling in pockets for your wallet or gadget. The bPay system also lets you top up the chip automatically once your balance falls below a pre-set level, making it terrifyingly easy to gad about town spending cash in small sums. 

"Beep"

Sure, you could stitch your own bPay chip into the sleeve of your pre-existing jacket - but Lyle & Scott have done a much better job than you probably ever could.

The Contactless Jacket is now available online and at the label's Carnaby Store for £150.

And yes, you will get some funny looks the first time you use it. Don't worry - they probably just think you're from the future.