Oh, Canada: I guess you guys are good for more than just comedians and hockey players. The Canadian military's version of DARPA has developed an invention that can keep your hands warm in subzero temperatures without wearing gloves. Dress me up in red and white and put Alanis Morrissette on endless rotation, because that brings a tear to my eye.
The elegantly-named Torso Heating for Dexterity in the Cold system consists of a close-fitting, battery-powered vest and a sensor attached to the wearer's finger. When the vest senses fingers are getting cold, it warms up the user's core, tricking the body into thinking it's overheating. The body then sends excess blood to extremities, keeping them warm via body regulation instead of insulation. Soldiers testing a prototype were able to take apart and reassemble their rifles in -13-degree weather with no problems.
“There’s nothing out there that really does the same thing,” says (Darren) Menabney, (business development officer at Defense Research and Development Canada). "It’s a neat idea, the fact that you can have your hands out in the cold and not feel it. It gives you a whole new kind of freedom.”
While the Canadians initially developed the tech for military snipers, helicopter flight engineers, medics, and mechanics who have to perform delicate, gloveless tasks in frozen environments, they realize the huge draw this invention could have with fishermen, hunters, outdoorsmen, and other civilian consumers. They're currently accepting applications for licensing partners, so look out for the "Magic Finger" vest in the near future.
An end to cold fingers, without gloves? This calls for celebration—I'll meet you at the nearest Tim Horton's for coffee and donuts.
Via The Goat