It might look like a shoddily built bracelet with wires coming out of it, but it’s a very powerful device that took the first prize in MIT’s annual Making and Designing Materials Engineering Competition (MADMEC). Built by a team of researchers from MIT, this $50 bracelet-like device named the ‘Wristify’ can give expensive air conditioning units with climate control a run for their money. The Wristify works on the principle that heating or cooling the skin on one part of the body can make the entire body feel warmer or colder. What it means is it can act like personal heating or cooling devices while saving a lot of electricity. As per statistics, air conditioning alone accounts for 16.5 percent of energy use in the US.
Currently, it’s in the prototype stage and uses a custom copper-alloy-based heat sink which is attached to an automated control system that automatically adjusts the intensity and duration of thermal pulses. The team leader Sam Shames invented the technology when he was looking for a solution for a very common problem: keeping everyone happy in a room where no one can agree where to set the thermostat.
The idea behind the thermoelectric bracelet is that the heat sink sends hot or sold pulses on the wrist which tricks the whole body to feel the same temperature. It is powered by a small Lithium-ion battery and only took the team $50 in parts to build the Wristify. In the current state it looks crude but the team is working to refine the design and make it usable.
[Via – Wired]