While browsing through Kickstarter projects this week, I scrolled past what appeared to be a cheap rental prom tuxedo vest, which is currently 1364 percent funded. Wondering how it was possible for a vest to garner $184,156 in funding, I just had to inquire further. As it turns out, the vest was actually designed by NASA scientist Dr. Wayne B. Hayes. Cleverly named, “The Cold Shoulder Calorie Burning Vest,” the device uses cold exposure technology to help you burn up to a pound of fat a week (roughly 500 calories per day) simply by wearing it.

The creator opens his plea to Kickstarter backers by saying, “I sell a vest full of ice that’s designed to burn calories.” It turns out that’s exactly what it is, nothing less and nothing more.

The invention is based on mild cold exposure. It’s actually extremely simple. The Cold Shoulder has pockets that contain ice packs. When you wear the vest when the ice packs are frozen, it removes heat from your body, forcing you to burn calories to keep at a constant warm temperature.

Dr. Hayes recommends wearing the vest in everyday activities, at the gym, or by the pool. However, as I said, it looks like a cheap rental prom tuxedo vest. So unless you want to get made fun of incessantly, I wouldn’t recommend wearing this thing out—ever. I guess it’s one of those things where you have to decide how far you’ll go just to lose a few pounds.

You can also use mild cold exposure without subjecting yourself to the Cold Shoulder. Swimming does the same thing, since the water temperature is normally about 20 degrees below your body temperature. Exercising under these conditions causes your body to burn more calories to stay warm.

Regardless of what I think of it, the vest does in fact have $184,156 in funding, and money doesn’t lie. People are shelling out $130 a piece to get their hands on one of these, but the price tag seems like it includes at least an $80 mark up just because the guy selling it has a PhD.

The Cold Shoulder is a testament to how a well-marketed Kickstarter campaign can provide you with loads of money even if you’re selling a product that could be made at home. It’s all in the marketing: If you have good branding for a Kickstarter project, it is far more likely to succeed and make more money. It’s only a matter of time before there is a Kickstarter brand consulting firm.

Leave a Reply