Sweaters, jackets and long johns are all "wearables" that keep us warm, but they aren't all that smart -- if you walk into a room that's too hot or exercise too hard, you need to stop using them to cool down. It's an inconvenience we've grown used to, but we don't have to put up with it much longer: a pair of engineers are creating new self-heating shirt that automatically adjusts its temperature to meet your body's needs. Set your desired body temperature and it will heat up to help you reach it, then shut off to keep things from getting too hot. It's called the FuelWear Flame Base Layer, and it's already reached its original $20,000 goal on IndieGoGo.
The heated garment was inspired by last year's Canadian winter -- FuelWear's founders were students at the University of Toronto, and remember shivering on the way to class. Fed up with fighting the cold with traditional clothing, the pair founded the company and built their first prototype within months. After going through several iterations, the model up for production is a simple black number that promises to keep its wearer up to 10 degrees warmer (Celsius) in temperatures well below freezing.
The shirt can provide warmth for anywhere between 3 to 12 hours depending on how much heat it puts out, but all day "use" isn't out of the question -- an embedded sensor keeps track of how warm the body is, allowing the shirt to deactivate during active movement (running, snow skiing) or when the wearer walks into a hot room. That tech won't come cheap though -- the developers are targeting a $250 price when it launches, but it can be had for about $100 less by ordering now from IndieGogo.