It's amazing where inspiration for articles can come from. I just had a bathroom break, and this bathroom was SO cold, I turned on the plugged in floor heater before even hitting the light switch. I'm cold, did I mention that? Minus 30 degrees outside is not my kind of day. I'm having serious thoughts of hugging that little Sunbeam room heater while I work today. So yeah, lightbulb moment there. 2015 has been cited to be the year of wearable tech, so instead writing up the wrist band tech that I was going to geek all over with you this week, I'm preempting that to discuss wearable tech that will keep you warm in this frigid, teeth rattling cold weather. So here's what I've found so far...
Baby It's Cold Outside
- If you're at CES 2015, you can visit DigitSole to check this out in person (GLAGLA booth 75677, wish I was there!) Ever get cold feet? I seem to really feel it when I'm on the bus or even a subway car. My feet become these wet blocks of ice, and the rest of me just can't warm up because of it. Yuck. Well, DigitSole has the solution and completed its Kickstarter funding back in November, yay! Using bluetooth and your smartphone, keep connected with your feet and enjoy warm tootsies wherever you happen to be. It can also track your steps and figure out how many calories you've burned while on the go, but right now... I just want to feel my baby toes. Brrr!
- My hope is that this Toronto based company will think about creating plus-sized wear. But for those being able to fit the regular range of sizes for clothes, FuelWear will keep you warm where it counts. The Flame garment, an odorless shirt, made with soft bamboo material will keep you warm smartly. Going up to 10°C (50°F) above your body heat, this shirt will keep you warm and dry while you're on the move. I love how there's a strip of warmth running just along the lower back - I have no idea why, but this is where I get cold first, and it can drive me nuts.
- These are the sleekest hand-warming gloves I've seen yet, and they look flexible enough that I could probably type with them indoors when I'm feeling particularly chilly. You might laugh, but I've just made a cup of coffee, just so I could have something to warm my hands while I type this up. The ultra-thin iHeat Pro Liner 2 gloves have three settings to choose from, and up to 4 hours of continuous warmth to keep even the tips of your fingers warm in this oh-so-cold weather. I have to wonder how they work with smartphones, 'cause with warm hands, I just know I'd want to have my phone out while waiting for a bus! When in doubt, one can always keep a stylus pen in your purse/murse.
- Well, we got the feet, upper body and hands taken care of. For #4 I've got something for the lower half; a great way to warm up the rear and thighs. If I read VentureHeat's website right, there is even a car charger available to power up these compression base-layer pants to keep the warmth going all day long. Fitted underneath you favourite pair of comfortable jeans, these three-setting, battery powered pants should add the right bit of warmth, weather you're walking to work and doing that cray-cray running in the snow thing.
- Okay, I kinda cheated for #5 'cause I couldn't find a hat that comes with added heat. I did find though, a warm bluetoothed beanie hat by Haip™ that comes with a built-in speaker for tunes and a microphone for handless chatting. Listen to your tunes cordlessly in style, using a simple USB key as a battery for an 8 hour charge.
Melting That Snow, With My Brain
With all that body heat, you need some place to spend it right? Otherwise, you're more or less a walking sun compared to those around you (okay, we can wish that was the case at least.) Random people will start hugging you like a teddy bear, wanting some of that warmth you're outputting. Why not use all that generated body heat to power up your phone? Yep, you heard me. Imagine the only thing you'd need to charge your phone was you. And your heat. But, what are you without your body heat anyway? Yep, cold, but we already worked that out. Point is, thanks to Professor Jo Byeong-jin and his team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), there should soon (2 to 3 years soon) be a smartphone charger on the market that solely uses your body heat to generate the charge. Or you know, instead of wearing batteries to keep our wearable tech charged, this charging strip (as shown in the image below,) can be sewn into fabric and charge our heated wear with the current heat of our bodies, while the heated wear keeps us warm. Did that make sense? Essentially, We're looking at a cyclical heat/power generation for endless use.
How absolutely cool would that be?? Right now, some could argue that we're slightly above that Motorola DynaTAC "nearly the size of a man's shoe cell phone" stage of wearable technology development, but seeing how quickly we've advanced in phone technology since then, the next few years is going to be an amazing time to be a geek!
Me, but not actually me, this morning as I really wanted to wear the floor heater for comfort.