One day, soldiers could cool down on the military battlefield — preventing heat stroke or exhaustion — by using wearable air conditioning, an on-skin device that offers numerous human healthcare applications such as the ability to monitor blood pressure, electrical activity of the heart, and the level of skin hydration.
Unlike similar products in use today or other related concepts, this breathable and waterproof device can deliver personal air conditioning to a human body through a process called passive cooling. Passive cooling does not utilize electricity, such as a fan or pump, which allows for minimal discomfort to the user.
The device can reflect sunlight away from the human body to minimize heat absorption while simultaneously allowing the body to dissipate body heat, thereby providing 11 °F of cooling to the human body during daytime hours.
Currently, the device is a small wired patch; it will take one to two years to design a wireless version. Eventually, the researchers will apply it to the development of smart textiles that would allow for the device’s cooling capabilities to be delivered across the entire body. Right now, the cooling is only concentrated in a specific area where the patch is located.