Feeling the heat? Clothes with built-in fans in Japan might be the answer
Battery-powered, fan-equipped outfits once used by construction workers in Japan are now gaining popularity among the wider population, largely due to an unbearable summer heat.
At a recent exhibition in Tokyo, products and technologies to solve or mitigate heat-related problems were put on display, Japanese news outlet Mainichi Shimbun reported.
Fan-equipped wear was on display at multiple booths, it said, adding that such products come with a small battery-operated fan which draws outside air into the user’s clothes.
One of the outfits on display was created by Osaka-based uniform maker Chikuma & Co, textile company Teijin and power tool maker, Makita.
It consisted of two pieces of cloth with two fans attached at the bottom. It can be worn as a chest bag or an apron.
When the battery in the chest bag is turned on, air that is drawn in from the fan travels through the two pieces of fabric and blows out of mesh vents located at the base of the user’s neck and under the arms.
Even though cold air is not being drawn in, the wearer can expect to feel cool.
The concept is similar to sweating. When liquid evaporates, it absorbs heat from its surroundings. These fan-equipped outfits apply the same mechanism.
So even though the air temperature around the wearer does not change, the outfit makes it feel considerably cooler in temperatures of up to 35 deg C.
It is also effective as a countermeasure against heatstroke, “thanks to the heat of vaporisation phenomenon”, a Chikuma representative said.
Japan sweltered under extreme heat in July, with temperatures soaring to nearly 40 deg C in some places, including the capital Tokyo.
On July 16, the government issued heatstroke alerts for 20 of the country’s 47 prefectures, affecting tens of millions of people.