Fujitsu General Ltd exhibited a prototype of a "wearable air conditioner" combining Peltier devices and a water-cooling method at Ceatec Japan 2018, which took place from Oct 16 to 19, 2018, at Makuhari Messe, in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
Though it is called "air conditioner," it is wrapped around the user's neck to cool the cervical artery in the aim of preventing heat stroke. Combining the cooling function with biosensors such as a pulse sensor, it can not only detect the risk of heat stroke but also prevent it.
Fujitsu General expects that the wearable device will be used for commercial purposes such as security guards, aiming to commercialize it in 2020.
The prototype has three Peltier devices (30 x 30mm each) to be in contact with the right, left and rear parts of the neck, respectively. When a Peltier device is conducting electricity, its temperature increases on one side and decreases on the other side. The cooled side of the prototype is in contact with the neck while the heated side is water-cooled. And an accompanying radiator unit dissipates the heat.
The temperature of the cooled side becomes about 18-20°C. Compared with methods that cool the neck with ice, etc, the prototype is advantageous in that it enables to control the temperature in accordance with biological data.
There are already neck cooler products using Peltier devices, but they use an air-cooling method for reducing size, Fujitsu General said. Considering that an air-cooling method cannot cool the neck of the user who is, for example, working, the company employed the water-cooling method.