On long, cold days working or playing at the computer, we can rug up in sweaters or blankets, but by design our hands need to be free to bang away at the keyboard. Gloves can get in the way, and devices like Thanko's Futon mouse pad aren't all that practical. Now, a couple of self-confessed geeks from Denmark are developing the Envavo Heatbuff, a small heater that sits just above your keyboard and warms your hands, apparently without heating up your keyboard or the unit itself.
The key to the Heatbuff, say the creators, is the fact that it uses infrared short waves to keep a user's hands warm. It's designed to keep your digits at a nice and toasty temperature range of between 20° and 30° C (68° and 86° F) without affecting the keyboard or the Heatbuff itself, meaning you shouldn't burn yourself if you brush against the unit.
The Envavo team says the device can be angled however you like, to warm up both hands, assuming you keep them both on the keyboard – we're not sure if the Heatbuff's warmth can reach far enough to give your mouse hand any love. Plugging straight into a power outlet, the device is supposedly fairly energy-efficient, running at between 2 and 300 watts. The team also says it operates quietly and is easy to pack up and move, if need be.
Although its creators say the idea for the Heatbuff came to them while losing an online game of Counter Strike, the Heatbuff looks like it should work just as well for any computer-bound person with chilly fingers, including gamers, office workers, artists, professional esports players and people with poor circulation or conditions like arthritis.
Envavo is currently seeking funding for the Heatbuff on Kickstarter, where it's already more than doubled its goal of DKK75,000 (US$11,000), with 21 days still left on the campaign. Pledges for the device start at DKK499 (US$72), with bigger bundles available as well.
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