Stay Cool and Beat the Heat with Japanese Wearable Tech

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Japanese companies are catering to the increasing demand for products that help people cope with the scorching summer heat. With rising temperatures and a growing number of heat-related illnesses, wearable tech innovations are becoming essential for staying cool in Japan.

One popular option is fan-fitted jackets, originally designed for construction workers by Workman. Due to the rising demand, Workman adapted these jackets for everyday use. The jackets feature two electric palm-sized fans powered by rechargeable batteries. These fans draw in air and deliver a refreshing breeze at variable speeds, cooling the wearer’s body. Priced at 12,000 to 24,000 yen ($82-164), these jackets are appealing to individuals who want to beat the heat.

Protecting the Vulnerable Aging Population

Heatstroke is particularly dangerous in Japan, where the population is aging rapidly. In fact, Japan has the second-oldest population in the world after Monaco. Approximately 80 percent of heat-related deaths in the past five years have been among senior citizens. To combat this alarming trend, companies like MI Creations offer neck-cooling tubes for factory and warehouse workers. These tubes contain gel that can be cooled in the fridge and worn around the neck. They provide a cooling effect for about an hour, significantly reducing the risk of heatstroke. The neck-cooling tubes are priced at 2,500 yen.

At an expo in Tokyo, MI Creations and other companies showcased new products designed to help users stay cool during extreme heat. Tokyo-based company Liberta displayed T-shirts and arm sleeves with prints that feel cool when in contact with water or sweat. They use materials like xylitol to enhance the cooling effect. Chikuma, an Osaka-based company, even developed office jackets and dresses equipped with electric fans. These innovative garments were created with the intention of being suitable for professional environments where casual wear is not allowed.

Inclusive and Fashionable Solutions

Traditional gender norms are also shifting when it comes to staying cool. Parasols, typically associated with women protecting their skin from the sun, are gaining popularity among men as well. Komiyama Shoten, a luxury umbrella maker in Tokyo, began producing parasols for men in response to a government initiative promoting their use. Men previously felt embarrassed to use parasols, but they have now realized the practical benefits. Hiroyuki Komiya, the owner of Komiyama Shoten, remarked that once men start using parasols, they become indispensable in the battle against the heat.

In the bustling streets of Asakusa, tourists are taking advantage of wearable fan technology. Shoma Kawashima, a 21-year-old visitor, wears a wearable fan around his neck to stay cool under the blazing sun. While these gadgets provide temporary relief, Kawashima acknowledges that they are not a long-term solution to rising temperatures.

As Japan continues to face hotter summers, wearable tech innovations offer practical and fashionable ways to beat the heat. From fan-fitted jackets and neck coolers to clothing with cooling prints, these products provide relief and protection against heat-related illnesses. Along with these innovations, it is important for individuals to stay hydrated, seek shade, and take necessary precautions to stay safe in extreme heat.

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