Sometimes when it’s not so very hot as it is this week I’ve wondered why should I pay to air condition my whole house when I really only “need” to have it cool in the bedroom for sleeping. Now someone in Japan has taken that idea a step further. Why air condition a whole room when it’s really just the people in it that need to be cooled.
Why not devise air conditioned clothing for the individuals in a room, or better yet, for people who are outside. OK, to be fair, the invention is not really air conditioned clothing but rather clothing with a built in breeze.
A company called Kuchofuku Co. Ltd, which literally translates to “air conditioned clothing,” has designed shirts and jackets that incorporate a couple of fans not unlike the fans used to inflate large air mattresses into their clothing in such a way that the wearer gets a constant breeze of outside air that drys, and therefore cools, the wearer before escaping though cuffs and collars. The fans speed can be regulated to different settings for different conditions. The fans are hooked up to a lithium-ion battery pack that lasts for 11 hours on a single charge, therefore using just a fraction of the power that conventional AC would consume. This product isn’t all that new, in fact almost a thousand different companies in Japan use these shirts and jackets for their workers already, but they’ve become more popular since recent government suggestions for people to cut way back on their consumption of electric power since the post tsunami power plant failure has curtailed power generation in Japan.