April 2003  Volume 29, Issue 3
April 2003 Issue
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Technology / Innovating
Personal Technology: An Out-of-Office Experience
by Stephen J. Harhai
Feel like loading up your PDA, cell phone and laptop while still leaving the office with both hands free? This one's for you.

I'm not sure if Colorado has a state motto, but if it does, it's something like "Work Hard, Play Harder." We take our recreation seriously here. Maybe that's why I think it's only fitting that Personal Technology ventures out of the office to bring you a tool that will enhance more than your life at your work desk.

How do you get away and still keep your tech toys-I mean tools-close at hand? Go to www.SCOTTevest.com and pick out some technology-enabled clothing. It's designed with the personal electronics user in mind-and lawyers can find fun uses for it, too.

I just got my SCOTTeVEST 2.5 (they even have version numbers-how tech is that). Now I'm in techie heaven. For starters, there's the PAN (Personal Area Network), a series of conduits and openings in the jacket that allow you to wire and connect all your devises. That can be as simple as running your MP3 player wire to your earbuds through a conduit to the special loops and pockets that hold them. Or it can involve connecting your PDA to your cell phone so you can access the Web and e-mail.

Where do you put all the stuff you're connecting? In one of the 24 pockets of every size, description and utility. There are pockets for pens and badges, pockets with secure key holders, magazine pockets, secret pockets and a back pocket big enough to hold your laptop. You would think that all those pockets would make you look like a patchwork kid from Oz. But the ergonomically designed jacket is cleverly tailored so that it doesn't bulge or sag excessively even when well packed. The company says to think of it as a "convergence of clothing, technology and luggage." Plus, you can adapt to the environment by pulling out the concealed hood when the mercury plummets, or you can zip off the sleeves in a heat wave. The SCOTTeVEST is available in various colors, at prices ranging from $79.99 to $149.99.

This jacket really works. I loaded up my MP3 player, radio, earbuds, cell phone, compact umbrella, knit cap, gloves and the book I'm reading, with room to spare. Not wanting to be all dressed up with no place to go, I headed out to try another "personal technology": a new ski by long-time ski design innovator Adrian Floreani. These Floskis turn like a sports car, plough through powder like a truck and are calm on the straightaway. After a few runs, I was handling terrain that I would never have ventured onto before. All the while, with my SCOTTeVEST, I knew that I could connect my PDA to my cell and check e-mail.

Now that's personal technology.

Stephen J. Harhai ( steve@harhai.com) practices family law in Denver, CO. He is the author of the Colorado Divorce Handbook site, www.COdivorce.com.