By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
With the coming summers predicted to be hotter than we’ve ever felt before, I’m sure the AC unit is going to be blasting in a lot of homes and using up a ton of energy. However, MIT’s new Wristify bracelet means there’s no need to waste all that electricity, because it controls your body temperature with a simple switch!
The Wristify team found that about 17% of the energy used in the US was from heating or cooling houses. Then, they asked themselves a simple question: why change the temperature of an entire home when you can just do the same directly to the human body? What’s interesting is that the body reacts quicker to temperature on the skin than it does to a hot or cold environment. Wristify takes advantage of that.
In fact, the team found that quick heat changes in one part of the body, like the wrist, can affect the entire body. They don’t even have to be large changes, since less less than 1 degree of difference is enough. Wristify is designed to do just that, delivering a small change through either hot or cold pulses to simulate breezy winter nights or sizzling summer afternoons!
“Buildings right now use an incredible amount of energy just in space heating and cooling,” says Sam Shames, a materials science and engineering senior who co-invented the Wristify technology. “We wanted to reduce that number, while maintaining individual thermal comfort.”