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The US Army is developing an electric underarm bracelet to keep soldiers’ hands warm without gloves

Army scientists are developing an electric underarm bracelet that keeps the hands of soldiers warm in frosty weather without gloves

  • Army scientists have designed a new tool to keep hands warm without gloves
  • The device is an electrical band around the forearm and runs on battery
  • It radiates heat into the forearm to keep the arm and hands open to blood vessels
  • In preliminary tests, they discovered that it improved finger strength by 90 percent

A team of scientists working for the army are developing a promising new technology to keep soldiers’ hands warm in cold, glove-free environments.

The new device is a simple heating band that wraps around a person’s forearm and is powered by a small battery.

Developed by John Castellani, a research physiologist at the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Boston, the band radiates heat in the upper arm, preventing blood vessels from contracting in response to cold air.

A team of scientists from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Boston has developed a new device to keep the hands of salesmen warm and effective in cold weather without wearing gloves

A team of scientists from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Boston has developed a new device to keep the hands of salesmen warm and effective in cold weather without wearing gloves

The effect is strong enough that it reaches the blood vessels in the hand and allows the blood to circulate throughout the arm to support proper motor function.

“A comfortable person is someone who can do his job,” Castellani said New scientist. “Comfort is important.”

In cold weather, blood vessels contract to maintain the body’s core temperature by passing blood deeper into the muscle tissue and to the core organs.

Wearing gloves can counteract this effect, but the added bulk can often hinder hand and finger movements to the point where they are as functionally ineffective as an unprotected hand affected by the cold.

To test the technology, Castellani and his team compared the performance of people in a room that was cooled to just above freezing, around 33 ° Fahrenheit, when they tried to place small pins in a pegboard.

The device is an electrical band that radiates heat to the wearer's forearms to keep their blood vessels dilated and to improve blood flow to their hands

The device is an electrical band that radiates heat to the wearer's forearms to keep their blood vessels dilated and to improve blood flow to their hands

The device is an electrical band that radiates heat to the wearer’s forearms to keep their blood vessels dilated and to improve blood flow to their hands

The researchers discovered that subjects wearing the forearm bracelets had about 50 percent more manual dexterity than those who manipulate the pens without any protection, and 90 percent more finger power.

Researchers are currently developing a version of the tire that can provide uninterrupted heat for four hours before deploying the army personnel in the field, which they expect for another two to three years.

If successful, the device can then become commercially available.

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