Nike’s microclimate chair heats and cools exactly where athletes need it

The creator of this wacky-looking chair says there are no plans to market it, though when sports teams get to hear about it, investment could certainly be on the cards.

Designed by LA-based architect Greg Lynn, the Microclimate Chair, as its name hints at, incorporates a system that helps cool down parts of the body while keeping other parts warm. Such a procedure is important for top sports performers intent on avoiding injury.

The chair, which was built in partnership with Nike for its Nature of Motion exhibition during Milan’s recent Design Week event, is made with a combination of flexible carbon tape and rigid carbon weave. Embedded in the chair’s surface are around 70 thermoelectric devices that heat up or cool down according to information received by its built-in sensors.

“Down the spinal column is a great place to put a lot of cooling,” Lynn explains, “The muscle groups of the thighs and the calves – you don’t want to let those get cold because they’ll immediately contract. So while we’re bringing down the temperature of someone sitting in the chair, we’re warming up their legs.”

In addition, the perimeter of the Microclimate Chair holds a tube that distributes air, diffusing it across the surface of the seat to remove humidity from an athlete to ensure they stay fresh and ready to jump back into a game at a moment’s notice.

Lynn has little doubt about the potential effectiveness of his creation: “If you gave five of these chairs to a college basketball team, they would have a distinct performance advantage over another team that didn’t have them.”

But Lynn insists he didn’t build it with the idea of making a commercial product. Instead, “It’s more about how you think about design and intelligence and information and systems in the world of furniture and ergonomics.” That may be the case, but we bet there’ll be plenty of pro athletes lining up to kick back in one of these if they do ever show up in the locker room.

Computing

Exclusive: How Alienware dared to ditch black, boxy designs for something radical

A new gaming Legend is born this year. Alienware unveiled its new Aurora R9 desktop with the Legend design language. Join us as Alienware designers talk about Legend was conceived and what the new design means for gaming.
Product Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review in progress

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 Plus is here, and it’s the biggest and best Samsung phone ever. Its key feature is its looks, as it has an attractive rear design, highlighted by the new Aura Glow color, but little else has changed.
Product Review

Klipsch Bar 40 soundbar review

Klipsch’s Bar 40 does its namesake proud when it comes to both style and sound, with a great look and impressively clear performance. However, those seeking loads of features may want to look elsewhere.
Product Review

Eufy RoboVac 15C Max review

If you're looking to get your first robot vacuum without breaking the bank, then the Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX is worth considering with its Wi-Fi connectivity, Google Assistant/Amazon Alexa integration, strong cleaning performance, and sleek…
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s satellite projects will study the sun using solar sailing

Small satellites can be used for all sorts of purposes, and NASA has been searching for ideas to push ahead the capabilities of the hardware. The agency has announced two new projects to demonstrate the potential of small satellites.
Emerging Tech

Hubble captures a beautiful cosmic jellyfish made of glowing gas

A new image from Hubble might look like a deep-space jellyfish, but it's not a sign of extraterrestrial life - in fact, it's a planetary nebula called NGC 2022, located in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter).