It takes a lot to impress me. New tech is not easy to come by; mostly we see improvements and small steps towards existing technology. I, like most of you, had seen ads on Facebook and Instagram for a new product claiming to be a personal thermostat you wear, and I was intrigued. I emailed the company responsible for this product, Embr, and they quickly sent me out a unit to review alongside their TestFlight beta of their new app.
Out of the box, I was immediately stunned. This product does not look like a product from a startup, as a matter of fact, it looks and feels like something made by Apple or Amazon. The design is elegant, and the Wave feels substantial, yet not too big for what it does. It resembles a smart watch in looks and size, yet with no display. There is a touch sensitive light bar at the top of the unit, which serves as your primary control for the device. The band is like a chain mail watch band, with a slick magnetic closure that keeps this bad boy on your wrist no matter the circumstance. The top of the aluminum enclosure has a wave texture which helps dissipate heat and up the efficiency, and the underside is the pad that makes contact with your skin, and provides the heating and cooling you request.
So, it looks great, but how does it work? Like a charm, a very unique charm. The idea is simple, the Wave tricks your mind very similarly to an ice cube on your wrist. Your mind focuses on the cooling or heating in that spot, and you immediately feel refreshed. The science is simple yet utterly brilliant, and this is one of the few tech pieces I immediately felt regret I hadn’t designed myself. The Wave simply works, and it something you can’t help but be impressed with.
Embr Wave was designed by three clearly brilliant guys from MIT, and they took their product first to Kickstarter successfully. Now this product is fully baked, and available on their website in days. Their new app is a game changer for this already game-changing product. The previous app release allowed you to pair your device over bluetooth, change modes from basic cooling or heating to extended cooling or heating (which I will discuss later), and see your usage for the day and then compare that day to your previous weeks. The new app takes it to a different level.
First, the new app is far more intuitive. The user experience is crafted with simplicity, and the elegant color scheme again harkens to the likes of Apple or Amazon. But, that isn’t all this upgrade gives you, it gives you thermostat control. You can use a nest-like wheel to turn up or turn down by degree the amount of cooling or heating you are receiving. You can also stop and start, as well as change your heating and cooling to extended. The fantastic extended mode gives you thirty minutes of heating or cooling as opposed to a quick heat up or cool down of five minutes. It charges via USB quickly, and the battery lasts for days.
The heating or cooling comes in waves, in either mode, and offers a completely unique sensation. I prefer the 30-minute extended mode, especially as I live in Vegas where the heat can be extreme. For my review, I happened to be in Hawaii, and my wife and I took turns using the Embr in various scenarios, with it succeeding in each of them. On the plane, where I get notoriously overheated, I would wake up from the heat while trying to nap, tap the Embr’s light bar, and immediately cool down for the next thirty minutes. The weather has been pretty cool for Hawaii, so I haven’t needed it as much as I thought, except my wife gets cold easily. At the movie theater, she, of course, was freezing, and the Embr Wave is a god-send for a pregnant woman, and it kept her warm throughout the movie.
Embr Labs is a company to watch. The Embr Wave is my favorite non-Apple gadget of 2018, and something I plan on getting a ton of use out of over its lifetime. The Embr Wave is a home run without question, and a must-have for those who are easily affected by temperature.