Since tomorrow’s the first day of summer, here’s a timely item: Columbia, makers of smart, techy sportswear, plans to launch Omni-Freeze, clothes that cool you using a combination of specially designed fibers and a compound that lowers the temperature of the clothes — and thus of you, the wearer — whenever it gets wet. Walk a little, sweat a little, and the chilling begins. From Engadget:
The material that makes the magic happen is made of flat fibers that bring 35 percent more surface area in contact with your skin than traditional round yarns — and the more cloth touching your dermis, the better it can absorb and dissipate body heat. These flat fibers are bonded with a special compound that activates when wet (by water or sweat) and lowers the temperature of both the garment and the person wearing it. In fact, if you stir in enough of the stuff, you can actually freeze a glass of water. Because the effect comes courtesy of chemical added to the clothing, it won’t last forever — but the company told us it’ll keep its cooling properties for 50 – 70 trips through the washing machine.
It’ll come in the form of shirts, t-shirts, hats and also something called a head wrap, which looks like a complete ski mask and which I totally don’t get. But, I have until 2012 to figure it out, because Omni-Freeze won’t be available until then. Which means this August is still going to suck.