A group of graduates from MIT have developed a bracelet which for many will be a dream come true: it acts as a personal heating and air-conditioning system using an Intel chip which responds to the requests of the user’s communications.
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It is called Wristify and it is soon to be released onto the market. The bracelet is activated by pressing one of two buttons: one for the air-conditioning system and one for the heating component. Wristify sends waves which activate the thermoreceptors on the skin’s surface, providing heat or coolness to meet the wearer’s personal thermal needs without affecting their overall body temperature. When the bracelet provides coolness, it glows blue; when it provides heat, it glows orange. As well as the heating and cooling buttons, there is a slider to adjust the temperature.
It All Began with a Competition
In 2013 MIT announced its annual materials-science design competition, this time with sustainability as the theme. A group of graduates were reflecting on the large amount of energy used in heating and cooling buildings and they reached the conclusion that it is people who need a direct means of adjusting their temperature. They set to work and created the first prototype for Wristify using thermoelectric technology. The design won first prize in the competition last October, winning them 10,000 dollars. The bracelet is also a finalist in this year’s Intel Make It Usable contest.
Wristify was developed in the Embr laboratories in Cambridge (USA). According to the lab’s co-founder, Sam Shames, “Our idea went viral.” People reacted enthusiastically to the concept and “That really opened our eyes to this huge opportunity.” Now they are considering ways to market the device to consumers.
The final version of the bracelet integrates a new Intel chip which makes it “intelligent”: it can perform complex calculations and learn when the user will need heat or cold. The team has applied for a patent for the technology.
The product’s creators have tested the bracelet out on the street and the video below shows the positive response it has received.
This is an interesting new “wearable” which will soon be available for a purchase price of around 200 dollars