The weather outside may be sweltering, but you wouldn’t know it by taking a look around our office where sweaters, scarves and, yes, personal heaters are being employed in an attempt to ward off the AC chill.
This summer (aka women’s winter), I decided to try a somewhat extreme measure to help me de-thaw. Introducing the Embr Wave bracelet, a wearable thermostat that is designed to warm you up or cool you down with just the click of a button.
Developed by MIT alumni, the bracelet is battery-powered (simply plug into a USB portal to recharge every two to three days) and looks pretty similar to other wearable tech, i.e., very sleek and slightly too large for your wrist. There’s a temperature control bar that allows you to choose your level of heating or cooling (press the red side for warmth and blue for cold). According to the creators, using the device won’t change your core temperature, but it will cool or heat one spot on your body thereby helping you feel colder or warmer. (You know how cupping your hands around a mug of hot coffee makes you feel warm all over? It’s the same principle.)
But the $300 (well, $299 to be precise) question—does it work? As the silent war over the office thermostat raged on, I slipped on my bracelet and pressed down on the button to heat it up. Within a few seconds, I felt a warm (hot, actually) spot on my wrist. And while it definitely felt nice, it didn’t really spread throughout my (frozen) body the way that I was hoping. So, I tried it again (each session lasts five minutes for heat and three minutes for cold) and by the third time, it actually felt pretty good—heck, I even removed one of my layers.
And the results were pretty similar outside in the oppressive New York City heat. Walking around in the 86-degree sunshine, the cool cycle was definitely appreciated, although again, it was most effective after a few sessions (and wasn’t nearly as delicious as a cold blast of AC.)
Final verdict? The Embr Wave won’t perform any miracles (I mean, our office is practically the Arctic) but it does provide a more pleasant sensation. I’m not entirely convinced that I can get on board with the $300 price tag (hey, I could buy two pairs of on-trend fall boots for that amount of money) but what temperature you feel is totally subjective—if you’re feeling the heat (or cold) right now, then this might just be this season’s must-have accessory.