We’ve all been there: you’re in an environment where you’re too hot or too cold, but you can’t do anything about it because you’re not in charge of the temperature control. Now a company has developed a thermal wristband to address this problem. The Embr Wave aims to make wearers feel more comfortable by sending cooling or warming waves to the wrist, making the user feel warmer or cooler without altering body temperature. This is technology that we covered in the past, but now it appears to be coming to market.
The Embr Wave thermal wristband’s technology is based on the idea that “warming or cooling one spot on your body can improve your overall comfort without changing your core temperature,” according to information available on the company’s Kickstarter campaign page. Similar to the way holding a hot cup of coffee can make you feel warmer on a cold day or sticking your toes in cold water can cool you down when it’s hot out, the Embr Wave provides immediate relief through gently warming or cooling your wrist. Embr Wave uses smart algorithms to trigger thermoreceptors in the skin, producing the desired warming or cooling effect. The wearer clicks on the left side of the device’s light bar to start cooling, or the right side to start warming. These pulses of cooling or warmth affect your perception of the temperature in your surroundings. Inventors of the Embr Wave met as students at MIT and formed Embr Labs to produce the device. They received a $100K investment from Intel Capital and a $225K grant from the US National Science Foundation, and recently brought on Bose Ventures as a strategic investor. The company’s Kickstarter campaign target of $100,000 is funded to $497,279 with 16 days left to go as of this writing. The company plans to ship products in 2018.
The Embr Wave doesn’t tell time, count steps, or perform other smart device functions; it’s designed strictly for temperature control and thermal comfort. If you want to improve your temperature comfort and tell time, you’ll have to wear the Embr Wave and your watch, which could be cumbersome. It also isn’t suited for athletic performance or outdoor temperatures above 85ºF. On the plus side, according to the company’s recent press release, regulating your sensation of temperature can help you feel less stressed, improve your mood and your productivity, and help you fall asleep more easily.