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Wearable AC: Clothes Don't Get Much Cooler Than This
Wearable Tech World Feature Article
August 05, 2015
Wearable AC: Clothes Don't Get Much Cooler Than This
By Dominick Sorrentino

It’s been a little less than a month now since all the snow melted in Boston, so it’s safe to say that summer is officially here. This means the race to beat the heat is underway in many parts of U.S., and no piece of technology is more pivotal in this endeavor than the tried and true air conditioner. That said, AC has a caveat of its own: it can be expensive, and in many situations, is entirely unavailable.

One company is developing a cost-efficient cooling solution to this problem. Wearable air-conditioning proves, if nothing else, that there is no limit to the whacky, whimsical wonder that we are calling wearable technology.  Octocool’s clothes have a 4,400 watt battery and fans built in, and are strong enough to supply the wearer with 8.5 hours of full-blast AC, or up to 24 hours on the lowest setting.

While the company has certainly pegged down the “cost-saving” as part of its marketing, the best application of wearable AC is—once again—in the work place. Contractors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and maintenance employees who work on homes that are not yet air conditioned or in areas of buildings that might be uncomfortably hot could potentially work in longer increments without having to take a break to cool down.

And sure, a consumer may find that using Octocool does save them money on central air, and opt to forgo air conditioning his or her home. Wearable AC can help regulate body temperature for commuters who bike or walk to and from work. But these use-cases are somewhat isolated; not to mention, there are cheaper alternatives to staying cool in the home, such as installing a ventilation fan, and a walking or biking employee could just as easily bring a change of clothes. Furthermore, the current fashion selection from Octocool is limited, and the inclusion of 4,400 watts and fans makes it hard to create a “fitted look.” In other words, consumers may be concerned that they do not look as cool as they feel.

Regardless, we have to applaud the creativity being applied to the wearable tech space, and this particular product does provide very real benefits for maintenance workers, and for the enterprise.

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