Is it just us, or do smart watches keep getting smarter? They’ve gone from glorified digital clocks with maybe one or two features to full-on fitness trackers that could easily replace your mobile phone. But the latest device to hit the market is possibly the cleverest of them all.
The Aircon Watch has recently been funded on Kickstarter. It’s like a portable — you guessed it! — air conditioner that promises to keep wearers warm or cool from the wrist up. But if you’re imagining something like those mini battery-operated fans that blast cold air into your face, it’s a bit more subtle than that. The device uses ClimaCon technology to send hot or cool signals to the wearer’s brain through its special pulsating wrist strap.
The human body has a natural body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), but depending on the weather and external temperature, our body responds by sending a signal to the nervous system whereby the brain receives the signal, which then gives the sensation that we are feeling at that exact moment.
But what if we could change the signal that our nervous system sends to the brain by using the Aircon watch to generate pulses of heat or cold. By this method we can trick our brain into thinking that we are cooler or warmer than we really are.
The secret is in the straps, it contains a small device that has within it our ClimaCon technology. This tiny device will fit on the inner wrist in an area where the nerves are closer to the skin surface so as to allow for maximum transfer of temperature. The watch can be used during any temperature, any season or any time zone.
Feeling a bit dubious? Fair enough, but the makers of the watch point to the instant cooling effect that running an ice cube over your wrist can have on your entire body. There’s also a 2012 study from Stanford University where a cooling glove proved that heat exchange can occur through the extremities (which is why you instantly feel so much warmer when you wear a beanie, socks or gloves.)
If the Aircon Watch actually does what it says it does, it’s going be an absolute game-changer for sweaty cardio sessions. It’s also a far more sustainable, eco-concious alternative to blasting the air con every time you’re hot or cold. It seems we’re not the only ones that think so, as the device has already hit its funding goal more than 26 times over. At the time of writing, it’s still accepting backers for 10 more days and is expected to start shipping from December.