Can you control your whole body's temperature by heating or cooling just one small part of it? More specifically, the wrist? It seems a little far-fetched, but the makers of the Aircon Watch certainly believe you can, and if their early crowdfunding success is anything to go by, they are far from alone.
The Aircon Watch works on the premise that you can indeed heat or cool a patch of skin to make the whole body feel warmer or colder, and this is not the first time we've come across such an idea. Back in 2013, engineering students at MIT produced a prototype bracelet that could make the entire body feel several degrees warmer or colder by delivering thermal pulses to a copper-alloy heat sink built into the wristband.
For their part, the makers of the Aircon Watch point to a 2012 Stanford University study into temperature regulation in the body. That research led to a device simply called "the glove," which was able to lower the body's temperature by creating a vacuum that draws blood to the surface of the palms, then using cold water to cool the blood before it returns to the heart.
So the science suggests that yes, this kind of thing is possible, but achieving it in laboratory experiments and a polished commercial product are completely different things. Nonetheless, the team behind the Aircon Watch reckon the technology's moment has arrived.
Built into the watch strap is a device that delivers pulses of heat and cold, which the makers claim interferes with the signal that the nervous system sends to the part of the brain responsible for regulating our temperature. Confusing the nervous system in this way apparently allows the Aircon Watch to make small changes to body temperature as the user desires.
The watch itself features a OLED display and runs on a 400-mAh battery, said to provide four hours of cooling mode and eight hours of heating.
A Kickstarter campaign for the Aircon Watch is underway, with almost 1,000 backers already pledging more than US$80,000. If you too are convinced of its legitimacy, early pledges of $80 are still available, which will have one headed your way in December if the campaign runs as planned.
You can check out the pitch video below.
Source: Aircon Watch