App controlled air-conditioned clothing developed by scientists

Scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland have developed air-conditioning technology that can be incorporated into items of clothing and controlled via a mobile app.

It seems only fitting that this technology should have been invented in Finland, where the winters are beyond freezing and the summers blessed by the famous Scandinavian sun. Anyone who has spent time in a chillier climate will know what it is like to walk to the local supermarket in -20C, wrapped up in a snug winter jacket, only to get to the super heated store and find it is more like shorts and t-shirt temperature.

The newly developed technology uses a hard or soft plastic film which contains a network of microchannels designed to allow the flow of liquid. The technology has the ability to pump either hot or cold liquid through the microchannels and thus cool or heat the wearer of the air-conditioned clothing. The system has been developed with mobility in mind and is controlled via a mobile app.

Finns develop air-conditioning system for clothing

Air-conditioning for clothing developed

Ralph Liedert, a manager at VTT Technical Research Centre, commented: “Minuscule microfluidic channels can be compared to the cardiovascular system, for example … This gave us the idea for other applications of our new method in addition to diagnostics, such as heating or cooling channels for clothing.”

VTT is now looking to work alongside sports and outdoor clothing producers in order to develop the finished product. The scientists behind the idea are also exploring other possibilities and Mr Liedert says that the technology could be used for “the storage and transport of substances that are only needed in small volumes – like perfumes and fragrances – or that are very expensive, like medicine.”

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