With the harsh winter storms that have been hitting the East Coast this year, it’s a wonderful thing that technology has recently given us a new way to keep warm. No, it’s not a new advancement in fireplace technology… although, cranking up the gas in your fireplace or radiator won’t hurt. There has been a recent advancement in jewelry technology that has given us a new and unique way of keeping warm during chilly weather and or cool during the summer.
The technology is referred to as “thermoelectric jewelry” or “Wristify”, a term coined by the inventors of this exciting new technology, MIT students Sam Shames, Mike Gibson, David Cohen-Tanugi, and Matt Smith. This ingenious group of students thought of this new concept for heating and cooling the body through jewelry while they were competing in the annual MADMEC invention competition. It should come as no surprise that Wristify won first place for its potential in creating improved sustainability by reducing the need to heat and cool large buildings.
Everyone knows what it feels like to jump into a warm shower to soothe your chilled bones. When objects of certain temperatures are applied to the skin, a person’s entire body temperature can be affected. The concept behind thermoelectric jewelry is just that. According to ecouterre.com, “Human skin is very sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and a small change in a localized portion can affect the overall feeling throughout the body. The Wristify’s team learned that by applying a change of 0.1 C per second to a part of the skin can make the person feel warmer or cooler by a few degrees. Their prototype is a watch-like device that can be powered, for up to eight hours, by a lithium polymer battery.”
The original prototype was very crude and roughly mechanical aesthetically. However, the inventors decided to invest there ten thousand dollar competition winnings into developing Wristify’s design and technology standards. Because of this, a new Wrisity design is about to hit the market developed by award-winning designer Niccolo Casas. The laboratory that was founded by Wristify’s inventors, Embr Labs, describes the bracelet’s functions by saying, “Wristify is the first designer bracelet that heats or cools you. It gently glows blue when cooling you, and glows a warm orange while heating you up… It sends soothing waves of heating or cooling to the inside of your wrist. Wristify will become your favorite companion by matching your very own personal thermal set point.”