Skiers, runners and other winter athletes are at greater risk of contracting chest infections when exercising in the cold. Now there is a “smart” solution—a balaclava that warms oxygen before it’s inhaled.
Developed by Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, England, and German advanced knitting machine manufacturer Stoll GmbH, the prototype features a knitted patch of electric-conductive mesh yarn over the nose and mouth that emits heat when charged with an electric current. The electric-conductive yarns are so tiny that they cannot be felt by human skin. Using state-of-the-art flatbed knitting technology, Stoll knit the heating wires directly into the fabric, exactly where they’re needed.
The patch is connected to a knitted power socket at the back of the mask that contains a plus and minus pole to connect a rechargeable cell battery. When the battery is inserted, the power turns on and provides a consistent level of warmth around the mouth and nose.
The balaclava behaves like most any fabric. It features 3-D-knitted pre-shape qualities for a more comfortable fit and is fully washable. Reflective stripes provide visibility at night. For more, visit www.stoll.com.