A pair of new wearable technology is promising to save your life in the cold.
The Mens Winter Hats are smart gloves that, when worn, will alert your companion to your surroundings, including if they are in a warm environment.
The gloves are powered by a microprocessor which will also tell you if there are any predators around.
If you are outside in a cold environment, the system will automatically send out an alarm that will sound if there is anyone nearby.
The idea is to use your brain power to decide how to behave.
The gloves are worn over the ears and use a microchip to record information about your brain activity.
In theory, you would not be able to use them for everyday tasks such as opening your car door, driving, or even walking around.
However, this technology has been used to help people save lives in the past, and now the researchers behind it say they have been able to apply this technology to the most common cold-related tasks.
“We’ve been working on this technology for a long time, and the first application is going to be in cold weather, where you need to be able turn off your smartphone and go inside a house to get some ice cream,” said study author and researcher at the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Exeter, Dr Jens Jørgensen.
How does the technology work?
Using the microchip, the gloves will transmit the information about the temperature, and if it’s below zero, they will automatically alert your companions.
You will then need to wait for them to be inside a safe space before you can use the gloves again.
They are currently only able to detect the difference between 0C and -40C and can only track your heartbeat, and your temperature, which can be a crucial indicator of the severity of the cold environment you are in.
However, Dr John Stokke, a researcher at Stony Brook University in New York, said that the gloves could be a much more useful application in the future.
This is because the microchips can be integrated with other sensors such as temperature and humidity sensors, which could provide a more accurate and personalised response.
Dr Stokk said the gloves would also be a great way to protect people from the elements.
What else does it do?
The technology is also capable of detecting the presence of predators and using the micro chips to communicate with them.
If you have your gloves on, you will also need to wear them in cold conditions.
If they are worn in a heated environment, they can transmit information about how cold it is, and what it means to be outdoors in cold temperatures.
Once the temperature is below zero or above 100 degrees, the sensors will turn on an alarm.
This alerts the user and sends a signal to your companion, and also the microprocessor, which will send out a notification if the temperature falls below -40 degrees.
Dr Stokkel said that, in the short term, the technology could be useful in emergencies when someone has to be evacuated because they are under extreme stress or in a dangerous situation.
But he warned that the glove would not provide much protection in the long term, because it is dependent on a micro chip being worn, and this could be disrupted by the weather.
Is this a game changer?
Dr Jørgen Kromp, who studies wearable technologies at the Max Planck Institute for Biomedical Engineering in Germany, said: “I don’t think this is going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
This technology is a useful addition to the existing glove system and should be a useful application for any situation where you might need to make a choice between staying inside or getting out of a dangerous environment.”
The idea is that you can choose how you want to protect yourself and your companion by wearing them at different times of the day or during different seasons.
It will be interesting to see whether they are used for everyday or outdoor use in future.
“We have to be careful that the devices don’t get in the way of the wearer, or it could be dangerous if they get lost.”
What are the implications for healthcare?
It could mean that people with disabilities, like those with Alzheimer’s disease, would benefit from wearing the gloves when they need to protect themselves.
“The gloves could allow you to stay in an environment that is less threatening to you and your partner, which may help you cope better in the days and weeks following the onset of symptoms,” Dr Kromps said.
According to the researchers, the glove could also be useful for other cold-induced illnesses such as asthma, and could potentially reduce the amount of medication required.
It is also thought that this technology could help people who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s dementia, as well as those with severe asthma.
Dr Jorgensen said: “I think it’s possible that this could help patients with severe cold-mediated diseases,