You’ve complained about being cold all winter, but now, summer is coming. Soon, you’ll be stuck on a porch, sweating, complaining about the heat. Don’t just suffer, think like a techie. Scientists, engineers, and gadget lovers are always coming up with ways to stay cool. Here are some some of our favorite innovations that will definitely help the temperature drop.
In 2013, the winners of the Making And Designing Materials Engineering Competition (MADMEC) used a theory about the way humans perceive our thermal comfort levels in order to design a thermoelectric bracelet. The device has been described as “… a wearable, wrist-based technology that leverages human sensitivity, can detect and perfect rates of change, and can maintain overall thermal comfort…”.
Designed with energy conservation in mind, the prototype of this bracelet encouraged the wearer to focus on adjusting personal comfort rather than altering the temperature of his or her external space (a process that is taxing on resources and finances). That’s a clever way to keep your cool.
While we’re talking about MADMEC winners, we may as well mention the invention that took home first place in 2011. iReflect, is a smart window and shade duo which uses thermostat technology to determine if it’s time to provide a room some protection from the sun.
Such smart designs keep internal temperatures cooler, reducing our reliance on air conditioning.
3. Sun Screens
If you’re looking for a practical solution, not just a brilliant innovation still stuck in the stages of pre-production, look no further. Sun screens are high-tech, but easy to use and perfect for cooling the home.
Using an advanced fabric known as Textiline, which can protect the indoors from up to 90 percent of the sun, sunscreens are a one time investment that offers long term reductions in energy consumption.
Speaking of high tech textiles, a company called Omni-Freeze has invented a line of clothing that keeps the body cool and looks pretty good, too. It works thanks to thousands of itty bitty blue rings (so small you won’t notice them) which absorb and hold moisture. The trick, says the company, is keeping the clothing wet, either with water or sweat. Water activates the polymer, causing rapid expansion and cooling, which translates to an happy wearer.
The difference between Omni-Freeze and other companies producing similar products lies in the cooling agent. Some use a sugar-substitute known as Xylitol, which creates a cooling “sensation” when it encounters moisture.
5. Photonic Radiative Cooling
Developed by researchers at Stanford University, Photonic Radiative Cooling is the process performed by an uber-thin, multilayered material that can be used to coat the roof of a building.
The coating can actually pull infrared radiation away from a building and reflect sunlight, keeping things cool inside, without using a single watt of electricity.