Intel's Make it Wearable challenge has the lofty goal of changing the future of wearable technology. Embr Labs was just announced as one of the competition's finalists for its Wristify product, which basically puts a personal air conditioner and heater on your wrist.
At its core, the Wristify concept is fairly simple. The device is equipped with technology that delivers warm or cool thermal pulses to slightly raise or lower your body temperature. Wristify's creators claim that modest, but quick changes in temperature on the wrist, an area of high blood flow, can make you feel several degrees cooler. The current prototype cools or warms the body at a rate of about 0.4 degrees Celsius per second.
While Wristify might not be a full heating and cooling solution -- most people will still need a furnace and air conditioning for heating and cooling their homes--it might encourage people to set their thermostats differently to save energy. If enough people use Wristify, the creators claim, the environmental benefits could be significant.
Wristify isn't an entirely new product; we first got a glimpse of a prototype in 2013 when the gadget, created by a group of MIT Engineering students, won a $10,000 prize from MIT's MADMEC competition. In the year since Wristify won MADMEC, the group has fine-tuned the prototype into a design you might actually want to put on your wrist. The silver, futuristic-looking band seems sleek and stylish, though it might be a bit on the large side.
You can check out the group's Make it Wearable promo video at the top of this post, and you can head to the Embr Labs webpage for more information on Wristify.
The winner of the Make it Wearable challenge will be announced later this month.