A few months ago, we posted our hopes that the advent of the Internet of Things would result in wearable products that make life easier and more tolerable for Raynaud’s sufferers.
Someone must have been listening, because since this post, we’ve come across several wearable devices – some in market, some still in development – that hold great promise for us Frosties. Here’s what we’ve found:
Digitsoles are the first connected, interactive, heated insole that can be controlled through your smartphone via Bluetooth technology. You select a temperature for your shoes and enjoy toasty toes. They heat up to 104°F (40°C) and, once charged, last for 7 to 8 hours. One terrific feature is that you can control the temperature throughout the day as you move across locations with different environmental conditions, all by just swiping your phone – no need to remove your shoes and fiddle with the device! The product is still in prototype now being developed by a French company that is raising money on Kickstarter. Let’s hope it comes on the market soon!
Wristify is a high-tech bracelet with a built-in thermostat. Using thermoelectric material and sensors that have learned your personal preferences, the bracelet determines when to give your wrist a pulse of heat or cool and provides temperature relief to the wearer’s skin at the press of a button. The product has an environmental mission, as the hope is personal temperature controls will deter people from being as dependent on external heating or air conditioning sources to be more comfortable. But more importantly, Wristify offers welcome therapeutic warmth to Raynaud’s sufferers, along with hypothermic infants and arthritic baby boomers through instant relief to these groups, plus others with related health issues. The device was conceived by Cambridge-based Embr Labs, got its start last year at an annual MIT materials-science design contest, and was named a finalist in Intel’s “Make It Wearable” competition. Next step is for the team to begin crowdfunding in 2015. Could be your new favorite piece of jewelry!
We were recently contacted by the team at Soletics who are developing an ultra-thin, battery-powered glove that is a two-part construct – one part is a textile glove; the other part is a powerband that connects to the glove via a magnetic attachment. The glove is made of conductive thermal fabric that provides more effective heat distribution inside a much thinner glove than available via current heated products. The powerband will be similar in size and weight to a watch and houses rechargeable lithium ion cells and processing capabilities for the heating effect. (I’m beginning to feel the need to consult a physicist to understand these products and how they work!). Here’s the best part: The product uses targeted heating. Each finger is segmented into zones with sensors that inform the glove exactly where heat needs to be applied. So if you only need heat sent to your thumb, voila! But wait there’s more: The sensors also have a predictive capability, and based on the surrounding temperature, can adapt to the environment before the user ever experiences a temperature change. When the glove is performing its predictive function, it sends a gentle vibration that lets the user know when the glove activates. So as you’re approaching the frozen food section of the supermarket, you’ll know you’re protected. This was made for us Frosties! The team is looking to start production in the next 4 to 6 months, and have asked us for feedback while they are in development, so we’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
Muse is a brain-sensing headband that promises to reduce stress, improve concentration and help focus the mind. As stress can trigger Raynaud’s attacks as well as exposure to cold, products that work to lower stress levels can potentially make a difference for Raynaud’s sufferers. The band uses technology that detects brain signals the same way a heart monitor measures your heart rate, then provides you with visual feedback, with the ability to track results over time. The device is used along with a training app that guides the user through sessions and provides audial cues of peaceful sounds like waves on the beach. The sound levels offer immediate feedback on your state of mind – if they get louder and more intense, it means you’re getting distracted. From the description, it sounds a bit like a high-tech, modernized version of biofeedback training your mind to relax. Like any mind/body technique, success requires practice and commitment, so don’t expect a magic bullet with Muse! This product is available now from Gaiam.