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MIT Students invent Thermoelectric Bracelet which helps people maintain a comfortable body temperature

Written on:October 17, 2013
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Thursday, October 17- Heating or cooling certain parts of your body — such as applying a warm towel to your forehead if you feel chilly — can help maintain your perceived thermal comfort.

Using that concept, four MIT engineering students developed a thermoelectric bracelet that monitors air and skin temperature, and sends tailored pulses of hot or cold waveforms to the wrist to help maintain thermal comfort.

For this invention, the team, called Wristify, took home the $10,000 first prize at this year’s Making And Designing Materials Engineering Competition (MADMEC), held Tuesday afternoon.

Wristify

The product is now a working prototype. And although people would use the device for personal comfort, the team says the ultimate aim is to reduce the energy consumption of buildings, by cooling and heating the individual — not the building.

“Buildings right now use an incredible amount of energy just in space heating and cooling. In fact, all together this makes up 16.5 percent of all U.S. primary energy consumption. We wanted to reduce that number, while maintaining individual thermal comfort,” says Sam Shames, a mechanical engineering senior who co-invented the Wristify technology. “We found the best way to do it was local heating and cooling of parts of the body.”

The team estimates that if the device stops one building from adjusting its temperature by even just 1 degree Celsius, it will save roughly 100 kilowatt-hours per month.

What do you think about this invention? Will it replace the Air conditioners in future?

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4 Comments add one

  1. I am always cold when I sit sedentary at a desk with winter door drafts and ventilation units pouring moving air down my neck, and my wrists exposed to the moving air while I type all day.

    Gimme gimme gimme, I need this if I am to take off my scarf and fingerless gloves that I wear 9+ months per year.

  2. Chris says:

    Is there a version of this for pets? If not, this will not replace air conditioning completely.

  3. Mikiel Jones PhD says:

    Please manufacture and commercialize this. As a sufferer of hyper-hydrosis, I am always looking for ways to cool myself. Even the most basic, everyday situations such as walking down the street or giving a presentation at work can inadvertently cause me to overheat and sweat uncontrollably. I would buy 10 of these today, if I could.

  4. annette says:

    will it replace a heater? no. because it is breathing cold air that makes my lungs get congested.

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