Temperature Change Wristbands

Scientists have developed a device that can help people experience the temperature they wish for - either a cooling or heating effect - without much effort.

The thermoelectric bracelet - known as Wristify - developed by four MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) engineering students, alters body temperature to a comfort level, by checking air plus skin temperature and sending "tailored pulses of hot or cold waveforms to the wrist," according to a statement released by the institute.

The device, that looks like a wristwatch, works on the fact that human skin is highly sensitive to time and variation in temperature. The scientists found that altering the temperature in any part of the body, particularly the wrist area - either heating or cooling - at 0.1 degree per second helped alter the whole body temperature. The wristband can work up to a rate of 0.4 degree per second, New York Daily News reported.

The ground-breaking discovery is expected to help save energy consumption. "Buildings right now use an incredible amount of energy just in space heating and cooling," said Sam Shames, a materials science and engineering senior at the MIT, who co-invented the Wristify technology, in a statement. "We wanted to reduce that number, while maintaining individual thermal comfort. We found the best way to do it was local heating and cooling of parts of the body."

The device contains a copper alloy-based heat sink that helps manage temperature and an automated control system, to regulate the force and timing of the thermal pulses that reach the heat sink.

"What we developed is a wearable, wrist-based technology that leverages human sensitivity, can detect and perfect rates of change, and can maintain overall thermal comfort while reducing the need to heat and cool buildings," Shames explained.

Wristify, grabbed first prize at MADMEC 2013, MIT's annual materials-science design competition, that was held last month.

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