This is a three-post series that dives into 15 cool gadgets for home, work and play.
In a previous post, I talked about the Dyson Air Multiplier, Brookstone Bed Fan and ecobee Wi-Fi Thermostat that can help us stay cool at home. But what happens when we are at work and have to stay productive while we're sweating under our office wardrobe and using an increasingly hot computer? Read on to find out how seven geeky products can help you keep your cool at work.
New Ice SuitIt's over 100 degrees outside but your company still requires that you wear a full suit to work? Fear not as the Japanese label Haruyama has you covered -- in weather appropriate materials, of course. Its New Ice Suit is designed to fit ice packs into special pockets built into the jacket, so that the you can have some relief from wearing so many layers in the summer. The best part about the suit: you can put the removable ice packs in the fridge while you're at the office, so they'll be nice and cold by the time you go home. Unfortunately, the New Ice Suit is only available in Japan, which costs the equivalent of $520 USD (as of 2009) according to CrunchGear. [Source: CrunchGear]
MaxiFresh Anti-Odor Astronaut Undershirt Vest
To complement the cooling effects of the New Ice Suit by Haruyama, you would need a MaxiFresh undershirt that has the same anti-odor technologies as those worn by Japanese astronauts. Developed in collaboration with the Japanese space agency JAXA, these t-shirts are designed to fight against the micro bacteria that causes body odors and are said to reduce "body odor by 82%, and sweat odor by an amazing 92%." Available from JapanTrendShop.com for $52 USD plus shipping.
USB Portable Cooling PadFor me, the most unbearable aspect of working on already hot day is to have to type on a laptop keyboard, which only gets warmer the longer I work. This USB Mini Portable Cooling Pad keeps your hands and wrists cool as you type, and provides some support for your wrists thanks to its half-moon shape. (Alternatively, you could also prop your laptop up with this gadget to help ventilate the hot air coming out of your machine.) It has two fans built-in and is powered by USB so it should be compatible with any computer. Currently out of stock at USB Brando.com, this device retails for $19.00 USD plus shipping.
USB OptiWind Mouse
Perhaps your job requires that you use a mouse all day long, which can make a hot work day feel worst by interacting with an increasingly warm piece of plastic. With an OptiWind USB mouse with its own built-in fan and air vents shooting cool air where your hand rests, it can help your hand stay cool and your mind alert (can't rally nod off with air blowing at you hand, right?) as you work. The fan has an on/off switch so it won't freeze your hand in the winter. Available from USB Brando.com for $22.00 USD plus shipping (compatible with Windows 98 to XP). JapanTrendShop.com also sells a similar product that is compatible with computers running up to Windows Vista (SP1), but is much more expensive at $47 plus shipping.
Mobile Air Conditioner
The next best thing to carrying a personal air conditioning unit is probably this Mobile Air Conditioner from Japan. According to TreeHugger, it uses "ethanol, a silicon surface agent and freon gas in an aerosol can" to provide a blast that feels as good as if it were -49 degrees Fahrenheit. You can spray your clothes to make your wardrobe feel more refreshed or use directly on your skin, though the company warns of "frostbite" should you apply on the same spot for more than 3 seconds (at least that's what Google Translate said). For just $9 USD a bottle, this Mobile Air Conditioner would be a handy addition to any briefcase -- too bad it's only available in Japan. [Source: TreeHugger]
USB Desk Fridge
One of the most important way to survive an excessively hot day is to stay hydrated, but it's a challenge to keep your drink cold enough to cool you down. This USB-powered Fridge-shaped cooler for your desk keeps your drink (up to two cans) at the right temperature, so you can stay at your desk for longer bouts and (hopefully) do more work. Hit the wrong switch though, and this gadget will warm your drink so use carefully. Available from USB Brando.com for $39.00 USD plus shipping.
Gatsby Ice-Type Deodorant Body Paper
For the ladies who must maintain a professional appearance with makeup at work, rinsing your face with water to cool down is just not an option. Rather that just repeatedly blot your face with an increasingly damp tissue, you can use the a Gatsby Ice-Type Deodorant Body Paper that "contains antiperspirant and deodorant ingredients to prevent body odor," which cools your face/body and helps minimize your shinny glow from facial oil and sweat. Available from YesStyle.com for $9 USD plus shipping for a 10-sheet pack. [Source: via JapanTrends.com]