Feeling hot? Smart clothing could help you stay cool

Forget air conditioners, smart clothing of the future may help you stay cool on a hot summer day. Scientists in Finland have developed a new technology that can lead to clothes with the ability to automatically adjust temperature according to the wearer’s actual needs.

Developed by scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, a leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries, the new technology takes care of the thermal, moisture and flow-technical behaviour of smart clothing.

The technology is based on the Human Thermal Model calculation tool developed by VTT, enabling the calculation of a person’s individual thermal sensation from the prevailing conditions, an official statement said.

Individual thermal sensations are ultimately caused by differences in body composition. There are statistically significant differences between men and women, for example, because men have on average five to 15 kg more muscle mass than women.

The wearable smart technology can be applied extensively even in demanding conditions, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and different consumer groups such as police officers, firemen, soldiers, outdoor workers, athletes and small babies, the researchers said.

“VTT is now looking for companies to join in the development and productisation of this technology for the market,” said principal scientist Pekka Tuomaala from VTT.

“We also have extensive technological know-how, for example in fibre technology of the future, functional clothing solutions such as microfluidics, and detectors, sensors and the Internet of Things”, Tuomaala noted.

The Taiwan Textile Research Institute has already tested VTT’s methods in designing clothing for long-distance runners in different temperatures. The technology can also be utilised when developing solutions for individual recovery after a sporting event, the statement added.