Every year, numerous organizations around the globe spend hefty amounts of money, trying to maintain a steady temperature through the winters and summers. MIT’s Wristify, a new thermoelectric bracelet, now aims to change this by making heating and cooling as personal as a wristwatch.
Human body is able to register external temperature changes rather quickly. So when the external temperature, felt on the skin, rises by a small number, the body starts feeling warmer. Similarly, when the temperature drops by a very small margin, we start registering cold.
Based on the theory, some MIT students have developed Wristify bracelet. It comes equipped with a thermometer with a custom copper-alloy heat sink. Shaped like a wristwatch, Wristify is attached to an external control system which is able to tweak the temperature delivered by the device. Whatever temperature this external control system decides, is conveyed to the copper-alloy heat sink and from there, that temperature is delivered to a small portion of the skin on the wrist.
This may appear impractical but human body is very keenly responsive to external stimuli. So when the wristwatch delivers a small bump in temperature, say an increase of 0.1° C in a second, it can make a human body feel warm. Such a drop in temperature makes one feel cold. So when Wristify delivers such rapid temperature changes on a small portion of the body, this in turn makes the entire body feel warm or cold, depending on the instructions from the automated control system.
The control system, itself, depends on the measurement of the external temperature and that of the human body. If the external temperature is too warm and the human body’s temperature is high too, it would send thermal pulses at a lower temperature. This, in turn, will lower the body temperature and make one feel less hot.
This watch is fairly incredible but it falls short of being a complete thermal solution. Interestingly, that is not what the MIT students who created it intended to do with it. Rather, these students believe that with Wristify, they can help countless organizations around the globe to cut down on their energy costs. When coupled with a personal temperature-control device such as Wristify, people within a building will need less heating or cooling changes and so, this can help in saving millions of dollars in energy costs each year.