On November 3, 2014 Intel announced the winner of its Make it Wearable campaign, challenging contestants to inspire ideas and fuel innovation for wearable technology devices, offering a $500,000 grand prize. One of the finalists in this challenge was a device called “Wristify”, described by the development team as follows:
“Wristify, is a personal, intelligent, bracelet that can cool when you’re warm, heat when you’re cool, and interface with our growing world of connected devices.”
I first stumbled across this product a few years back, when I became curious if technology existed for “personal body heat regulation.” I had found myself warm at dinner, even breaking a light sweat, and got to thinking how cool it would be to have a device that controlled by personal body temperature, so I wouldn’t have to rely on constantly drinking ice water to cool myself down. Thinking maybe I had just come up with a million dollar idea, I did a simple google search to see if this type of thing already existed. Lo and behold, researchers at MIT were in the process of creating a thermoelectric bracelet that regulates the temperature of the user.
(The article I am referring to can be found here).
By sending cold and warm pulses to one’s wrist, Wristify can help regulate an individual’s body temperature. This technology is important because it may prove to be a successful way to remove some of the inefficiencies that come with heating and air conditioning systems.
By simply heating or cooling individuals, rather than rooms or full houses, Wristify could not only save households money on their energy bills, but could also be a innovative “green” instrument. While the bracelet wouldn’t eliminate the need for heating and air conditioning unites altogether, it would allow families to set their thermostats a few degrees higher or lower, making a huge difference when extrapolated across millions of households.
Wristify provides yet another example of how technology can not only help to increase individual utility, but also has the potential for a large economic and environmental impact.
For more on Wristify, see the Developer’s Interview: http://www.cnet.com/news/regulate-your-bodys-temperature-with-this-wearable-bracelet/