The Embr Wave: A Thermostat for Your Body

There is an increasing experimentation and use of what is known as wearable technology. Like a watch or a belt, wearable technology is attached to your person and performs its function with little interaction from the user. Examples of popular wearable technology are the Apple Watch, FitBit, and Bluetooth headsets. Though they tend to be higher priced, one reason is that companies are testing the consumer market to gauge their popularity before investing more in production. But be aware that not all wearable technologies will become household words. Google developed Google Glass eyewear technology that was too expensive and too obtrusive for the general public.

Much of the wearable technology has focused on communication and data transmission. Now there are companies that are moving forward with wearable technology that actually has a person health benefit. One such product is called Embr Wave. It combines physiological responses and your normal brain function to make you feel cooler in warm environments and warmer in cool environments. There is a clear science behind the technology, as we will see.

Did you ever get chilled when you place your feet in cold water? Did you ever feel warmer by holding a hot cup of coffee or cocoa when in a cold environment? These simple, everyday occurrences show that you can make a small part of your body cooler or warmer and the effect will spread throughout your entire body. The reason is that your brain controls both how your body senses heat and cold, and also registers feelings of satisfaction. If you feel cold when others are comfortable with the temperature in the environment, there is nothing wrong with you, it is just that temperature is a personal perception.

By using a small part of your body, Embr Wave is able to imitate the sensations of heat and cold that will change your personal perception of the temperature of the environment. One of the challenges of creating temperature changing technology was that previous attempts ended changing the body’s core temperature. Changes to that core temperature have the potential of creating serious medical problems. For example, when there are very high levels of heat and humidity, the body’s core temperature can rise to very dangerous levels, resulting in heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. The new technology had to avoid making any changes to the core temperature.

This is the advantage of Embr Wave. Feeling warmer or cooler does not have to put your health at risk. Embr Wave is worn on the wrist, and you can choose between feeling warmer or feeling cooler. A simple press of a button creates the chosen sensation that spreads throughout your body. People who use Embr Wave report that the effect is almost instantaneous. The initial testing was done on more than 200 men and women of all ages with consistent results.

The developers of Embr Wave did not work out of their garage, but are MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) educated engineers and scientists whose goal was to develop a product that would raise the personal comfort level of the average person – and do it at an affordable price. Their collaborative efforts began in 2013, and have now reached the place to make a tangible product available to the public. The technology is not complicated. All you have to do is attach it to your wrist, then press a button, one for heat and one for cold. Steve Jobs created the iPhone and iPad with the idea of simplicity in mind. When it comes to wearable technology, it doesn’t get much simpler than Embr Wave.

For those who love technical specifications, here is a summary:

  • 50mm x 13mm x 32mm
  • 3 ounces in weight
  • Nickel-free anodized aluminum body
  • 16 temperature levels ranging from Very Cold to Very Warm
  • Cooling is generated through a thermoelectric cooling module
  • Power comes from a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
  • Its battery life is 2-3 days with normal use

When will Embr Wave be available to the public? The startup company already has an assembly line and tooling plant waiting for the green light. As a Kickstarter project, once the funding campaign ends in October, all that is left to do is create a pilot version and gets regulatory approval. The first batch is projected to come off the line in January, with April the projected month for additional batches. Kickstarter supporters will be the first to receive their Embr Wave in February, and supporters who come late to the table can expect their Embr Wave in July. The estimated time for availability to the general public is in September of 2018.

Embr Wave has been reported on in major, reputable publications such as Wired, CNet, MIT News, Popular Science, and Digital Trends.

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