New electric balaclava has the potential to save athletes from the cold while practicing during the extreme winters, according to an article published on November 2017.
A group of researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the U.K. and Stoll GmBH, a Germany-based company, collaborated to develop a 3D-knitted headpiece prototype to help protect athletes from contracting chest infections during their winter practices.
The headpiece is made of electric-conductive yarn and is integrated with a built-in heating system around the nose and mouth areas. This knitted headgear has a power socket at the rear for wearers to insert a rechargeable cell battery to power the device.
“By using electric-conductive yarns which are so tiny that they cannot be felt by human skin, we’re able to provide a consistent level of warmth to a piece of clothing so that a runner only breathes in warm air,” explains Tilak Dias, a researcher involved in the study.
This is mainly designed for runners, skiers, and other athletes training in cold climates. “This really is an innovation. The seamless construction is great – when we tried it on, the balaclava is really comfortable and the heating system around the mouth is a fine idea.” Said the researchers.
The company has not yet revealed information about when it plans to commercialize the product, as it is still in its prototype stage. This headpiece is part of Stoll’s Performance Plus series, which includes running tights integrated with a Near Field Communication chip with the capacity to activate a smartphone’s flashlight for increased visibility in the dark.