Have you already activated your jacket?

Skullcandy-wearable-electronicsSkullcandy, formed in 2003 with the goal of designing audio player accessories that fit into an active action sports lifestyle seems to me is up to (r)evolutionize the audio accessory business with their new range of wearable technology modules.

The AMP’D Music System includes a 2 watt amplifier, two wearable speaker modules, an iPod and a 3.5mm audio connection cable with a retail price of $79.98

The second system, retailing for $29.95 is a connection module between a jacket for example and an iPod.

The catch on this system: Skullcandy is working with apparel brands like Sessions, Columbia, Spyder to name a few which offer ‘Skullcandy enabled‘ clothing, having a soft keypad and textile wiring integrated in their clothing lines.

The consumer buys these jackets and if he/she likes to use it for iPod control or to spice up a jacket with an audio system, he/she goes to Skullcandy and buys whatever function is wanted …. just like buying a headphone.

Sure there are other modular systems available like CONNECTEDwear or PANiQ which potentially work in the same way: buy a jacket or bag with the respective technology brand inside and select functions/modules as you wish.

Skullcandy has the advantage of having an infrastructure in place that takes care of their core business – high quality audio accessory design and distribution of the technology part and the participating apparel companies do what they do best, creating great looking, high quality clothing.

Skullcandy-AMP_D-Music-System

Transforming a ‘normal’ jacket into technology enhanced clothing is done by the consumer and is as easy as to buy a pair of new headphones.

The good news on all these developments is: soon we will have clothing that has soft, textile keypads somewhere integrated with textile cables running to media pockets, ready to be connected to ‘something’. This feature will become a fixed part of clothing like zippers, buttons or similar clothing features which sometimes have function but sometimes are used for style reason only.

The challenge for companies offering wearable electronic systems will be to define and agree to a standardized connection between the technology ready clothing and the different functional modules. As (technology) history has shown  in the past, the highest level of (business) success is achieved when consumer are able to mix and match functions and brands.

‘Have you already activated your jacket?‘ will then become a common term when we talk about clothing.

47 Comments


  1. somethings missing….like how to connect the two speakers.
    On the fashion construction side of the equation – I see an improved design solution. One that compliments the integration into a zipperfront coat. Thanks Eric, my next project is evolving.

  2. hi Lynne, it’s ‘mission accomplished’ if talk2myShirt can point to inspirational material and I hope you will share your certainly more fashionable interpretation of this concept with the community :)

    How to connect the complete system including the speakers can be found via this link

  3. What about jackets that don’t have the cable already sewn in? We have a Sessions jacket that has the pockets for the speakers in the collar, but nothing on the sleve for the remote. No cable either. Can it be purchased separately?

  4. Hi Ali,
    the AMP’D music system can be bought separately, even the stereo speaker cable between the pocket amp and the speakers (it’s just a stereo speaker cable available in audio accessory stores) but I haven’t found a place where one can buy the keypad compatible with the Skullcandy wearable electronic system :(

  5. Oh fantastic! Looking at the link provided above, we weren’t sure as to if the speaker cable was something that ONLY came sewn into the jackets. I didn’t realize it was just a standard cable.

    It was weird that the jacket we bought had the ‘surround sound pocket’ in the collar but no info on what to put in it. Was finally pointed in the direction of the Amp’d music system (just in time for Christmas) but was worried that it would be useless if there was no way to connect the speakers to the amp! :) Do you know the length of that cable or is it just one standard length? I’m pretty useless when it comes to these things, and this will be a surprise gift for my boyfriend!

    Thank you for the help!!!!

  6. I am not sure about the cable length, my guess is that stereo audio accessory cable ‘standard’ length will be fine but maybe use a piece of yarn or string, place it in the jacket where you think the wire can be fitted later and see how long at least the stereo audio cable has to be.

  7. Okay, this may sounds completely dumb, but I can’t find the cables online anywhere. I don’t know any terminology, and can’t ask my boyfriend or else he’ll know the secret! :)

    I’m looking for a splitter audio cable? with three pointy things? None of them can have the hole…according to the diagram all of the wires need to plug into something else (two speakers and the amp). Ugh, I just re-read that paragraph and I sound like I’m in 1st grade. :(

  8. Few questions…
    I know the amp is battery powered but does the amp draw power from the ipod or v.v. does the ipod draw power from the amp?

    Are there certain generations of ipods or iphones that do or don’t work with the system?

    Also are there headphones that you can purchase (other than the skullcandy ones included with the amp) that would plug into the red headphone jack connectors? It would seem to me that you could make due with the ipod modulator and headphones as mentioned above. Thoughts?

  9. Hi Chris,
    The Amp has 4xAAA batteries and does not draw power from the iPod. Likewise, the iPod does not get power from the Amp.
    Skullcandy has a list of iPod and iPhone that work with this system. Check it out here.
    I do not see any reason why not any headphone can be connected, it’s a 3.5mm audio connector.

  10. I just noticed that the 5th generation (video) nano isn’t listed there! Glad I checked because I was just about to buy one today to go with the system. That’s too bad though! :*(

  11. The iPod modules in the Skullcandy’s Modular Program are all compatible with the iPod gen5 nano. The Skullcandy website reports that (www.skullcandy.com/modular). The reason the gen5 nano is not listed on the packaging is because the gen5 nano was released after Skullcandy’s modules went to market.

  12. I purchased my Columbia jacket about 2 months ago and was excited cause the Skullcandy tag on it had the iPod logo as well as the “Designed for Zune” logo. It also said go to Skullcandy.com/modular to “activate” my jacket. I went to the website multiple times since then only to find the iPod accessories. I have contacted the company multiple times via their “contact us” link on the site to find out about when the Zune modular cable will be available and I have not received an answer yet.

  13. Hi Ali and everyone how is interested into the iFamily connectivity of the Skullcandy system,
    I had the opportunity to test drive a jacket with Skullcandy inside and found out a ‘hidden’ iPhone feature which is not mentioned on Skullcandy’s website: you can actually share the music on your iPhone with the caller! While you listen to music and receive a call, connect the call (via the iPhone) and then press the play button from the keypad on the jacket and voila, the caller can listen to the music you are rocking too right now.
    The jackets keypad let you control volume and fast/skip forward/backward during the song.
    Cool, next time you want to quickly share your latest favorite song with a buddy just ask him/her to give you a call.
    Just wanted to share this as there is nowhere a hint to this surprise feature 😉

  14. Hi Jaime,

    I’m trying to find out more about the Zune connectivity, and let you know my findings one I get feedback.

  15. That is awesome! Love the hidden feature!

    We are in the process of setting up the jacket with the system. For some reason, the speakers don’t work with the battery pack, however when we plug the speakers directly into the ipod, it sounds awesome. We think it’s because we don’t have a keypad to connect.

  16. I have just received a Jacket with one of these built in, but it does not appear to work. The setup is exactly as per the user guide on the site.
    It seems the AMP is a dud. Pity, I waited some 6 months to get the jacket and now th cheap AMP is just that – cheap and ineffective.
    We have tried to connect it to an 3rd Gen and Nono IPODs, but the thing is not performing.
    Its a shame such a shoddy product has ruined an otherwise top notch jacket.

  17. i just bought the columbia jacket with the keypad on the sleeve i hooked it up as it appears on the user guide but i have no sound! the keypad changes the songs on both my iPhone and my iTouch but still there is no sound i tried using the my headphones instead of the speakers and it is super quite but does work. Not sure if i should return it or if somethings wrong.

  18. I know is sound obvious but have you checked if the batteries (4x AAA) are inserted correctly as marked inside the battery compartment? Sometimes it happens in the excitement to misplace one of them 😉

  19. Wow, so others haven’t been able to listen via the amp either? We checked batteries and everything, and nothing seems to work. Though like I said, we plugged the speakers with a splitter directly into the headphone jack of the Nano and it worked great. The other half ski’d Schweitzer with it last week and loved it!

  20. I just bought a Columbia winter parka that is totally wired for sound. Is there a way around the amp? It seems there have been some problems, as displayed in other comments. Can you use an I-phone or just an Ipod? Is it possible to hook up a Zune or other Mp3? I have a touch pad and complete wiring in this coat and want to get it working as cheaply as possible, but hooked up right.

  21. Ok so here is my problem. I have a burton jacket that has a remote on it but it is not a scullcandy remote its a burton audex jacket. I have been looking for a set of speakers I could sew into my collar of the jacket. I know it sounds kind of stupid. But I love my coat and I want to hook up some speakers and a amp like this. Any ideas??? Any help would be great. nathan

  22. yeah so i actually have bought TWO amp’d systems, i have an 80gig ipod, and a 3gs iphone, the remote seems to work fine, but there’s NO music comming from the system via the AMP.. speakers work fine.. both amps do the same thing, and if you are able to get music to play from them it seems that there is some sort of circuit breaker that trips from what seems to me to be from the amp not being “powerful” enough for the speakers.. ive got ALL the cords required.. any ideas? all batterys are fresh and put in the RIGHT way

  23. I have bought a Sessions jacket from a UK retailer and tried to activate it. I want to purchase just the modular control unit not the whole Amped system. Cant find a retailer that send this to Australia. Any ideas?????

  24. Hi all,

    I’ve bought the Columbia jacket a few weeks ago. I want to use the system with the Key Pad Control Module (thus only the cable). Does somebody has any experience with using the Key Pad Control Module?

    The Control Module is out of stock at the moment, I’m trying to contact Skullcandy but they don’t give any reaction (in this topic I red that this is normal unfortunately).

    Thanks in advance!

    Greetz,

    Joost

  25. Hi Joost, or anyone else who can help…
    I’m trying to locate & purchase the iPod module to connect a Sessions Skullcandy-enabled jacket to an iPod. The link provided by Joost on 12/13 goes to an active Skullcandy page, but the “buy now” links on that page are inactive (items are visable but not able to be purchased).
    Anyone have a lead on where to hunt down a replacement iPod connector module?? Thanks!

  26. I have the same problem as Ali. I have a session jacket with the speaker placements in the hood. but it doesnt have the keypad module. and it’s making me mad because I dropped the money on it and you can’t even find the keypad.. please help.

  27. Hi all,

    Don’t buy the modular (or cable) system of Skullcandy!! I tried to order it but I got an error. Skullcandy has written off the money (80 dollars) of my creditcard but I didn’t receive anything.

    I contacted the helpdesk but they couldn’t help me further because they can’t see my order :S.

    Hopefully I warned some people.

    Greetings,

    Joost

  28. New discovery! I found a way to power on the amp without the keypad and no soldering. Plug speakers in, Plug in aux slot and turn on music from iPod, turn amp switch to on, don’t connect iPod connector to ur iPod, now plug the iPod connector into amp middle slot,push it half way and music should start playing through the speakers. Don’t push the middle plug all the way down. U can also throw something down the hole to make the plug permanently stay half plugged to activate amp. To control music and change songs, I bought a small rf Burton audex remote $24 It works with ipod video, touch and iPhones, confirmed to work with pandora :-)

  29. THX SO MUCH Seekerz, I was about to return my jacket but with your method it’s working perfectly, even the controls are OK.

  30. Glad my comment was able to help. I’m currently trying to locate a Y cable to connect the amp to the two speakers since my jacket doesn’t come prewired. The Y cable is not a regular stereo 3.5 cable that’s split for each speaker. The Y cable has 3 stripes as oppose to the regular 2 stripe stereo ones. If you use regular 3.5 stereo cables the speakers will play the exact same frequencies and interfere with each other. The sound is like listening to 2 speakers on the right side (same channel) as oppose to 1 speaker on the left and 1 on the right. Anyone have any luck locating the skull Candy Y cable to connect to the speakers?

  31. Hey guys, I just bought a columbia jacket fully wired with the amp system. I have a silly question because I bought the coat from a friend, I dont have the care wash instructions! Is it okay to wash these coats with controls on the sleeve in the washing machine, like the care tag says? Just seems odd to me to have electronics in the wash? Thank’s for anyones help!! (I really need to wash my dirty jacket)

  32. I cant find the Music System anywhere. I checked Skullcandy website even ebay. Anybodie know where I can get one.
    Dannie If the wire/keyboard is in the jacket it can be washed. If it an add on then you have to take it off.

  33. Does anyone know where i can get the control module and the y splitter for the AMP’d jacket system? I cant find the module anywhere. Is there a way of opening it up and rewiring it?

  34. I have an underarmour parka with the touchpad in the sleeve from a few years ago… anyways I finally got an ipod (nano 2nd gen) and while the site to order them doesn’t exist anymore, if you call skullcandy support 1-888-my-skull they will be happy to sell you the connection cable as of feb 2012. It is a discontinued product so they may not stock them forever!

  35. I HAVE SESSIONS TRUTH SKULLCANDY JACKET STYLE NUMBER: SP103604
    WITH Skullcandy Keypad…HELP ME TO CONNECT TO NOKIA PHONE…

  36. I have a problem. I got my jacket last year at Marshalls. Since its been a couple years since this post went up, none of the links you guys posted don’t exist anymore. Please Help.

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