Stay cool — even when it’s hot out.
When I was in high school, I was in marching band. We had to practice on a sticky, hot parking lot that was covered as blacktop. It was horrible. The summers in our part of the country are humid and very hot. Back then it wasn’t unusual for mornings (before 7:00 a.m.) to be hitting the 85º mark and it would easily be 100º by noon. We did everything we could to cool down because we had to practice outdoors. Back then, we would crowd ourselves into a small space between buildings just to be in the shade for our 10-minute breaks between sets. If we had this nifty little device — the Embr Wave — maybe those breaks would have been a little easier for us. This wearable device is a personal thermostat that is designed to keep you comfortable — even when it’s unbearably hot outside.
The Embr Wave is a wristband — about the size of most smartwatches — that harnesses temperature to improve your overall comfort. It features a magnetic wristband, light bar, aluminum heat sink, a cooling/warming plate, and a Micro USB charging port (cable included). The concept of the Embr Wave is that it targets the temperature-sensitive skin on the wrist. In theory, the device should have the same effect on your body as when you place your hands over the fireplace in the winter or hold an ice cube on your skin during the summer. It works through conduction and direct contact with your skin. The device sends waves of warm or cool energy through the warming/cooling plate. Embr Wave is so certain that their wearable can help users with controlling their comfort that they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. The Embr Wave was developed at MIT and is powered by patent-pending technology. The battery is said to last for 2-3 days with ‘normal’ use.
A couple of weeks ago, we were finally able to get our spring yard clean-up completed. For us, this involved quite a bit of yard mowing, grass clean-up, weed eating, mulching, trimming of bushes and trees, and some other plant maintenance. It’s a big undertaking and unfortunately for us, it happened to occur on a very hot and muggy day. That’s how things go around here though. It goes from winter to summer in a matter of days. There is very little spring weather to speak of. So, we were faced with getting up early and working until around midday. This worked well, but when I came inside to cool off, I couldn’t. I was so overheated that I was having trouble cooling down and so my fiance grabbed the Embr Wave and put it on my wrist. He turned it to its highest cool setting and after several sessions with it, I began to feel much more normal.
I’ve discovered that the Embr Wave does its job well, but if you are expecting it to be like a personal air conditioner or heater, you will be disappointed. I don’t know how well it would work if you were being active — like working out or moving around a lot — but if you are sedentary and trying to simply regulate your body’s comfort level (gently), this device will work for you. It actually took me a few tries to get used to wearing it and how it works. You do have to wear it with the heating/cooling plate touching the underside of your wrist. This could be awkward if you are actively trying to work (type on a keyboard or write for example) because the unit itself is quite large. After I figured out the placement of the Embr Wave on my wrist, I then had to get used to the controls. You press the Light Bar to turn it on and control the temperature settings. If it turns bluer, then it’s on the cool setting. If it’s red, then it’s on warm.
One thing I would like to see improved is battery life. The specs from the Embr Wave website state that with ‘normal’ use you should be able to have 2-3 days of battery life. I’m not sure what the product designer deems ‘normal use’ but I didn’t see that kind of battery life with my Embr Wave. After about an hour of continuous use, the device had to be charged. And, there were several times that we didn’t use it for a few days and the battery had died with no use. As much as I like this device, I would love to see this one feature improved on.
The Embr Wave is definitely a unique device. It fits in the wearable category, but it’s not a watch or fitness band. It exists for one purpose — to comfort you. I also found the pricetag a bit on the high side considering many smartwatches start around $300. The Embr Wave works if used properly and I think with future evolutions of the device, it will be more widely used.