This device won’t tell you the time, but it can save you from bothering with a thermostat.
For years smartwatch companies have claimed that their devices can help improve your health through fitness tracking and more. However, the new Embr Wave 2 offers even more with temperature sensors, body cooling functions, and better stress management. The question is, does it work, and is it worth it? We took it for a test drive to find out more.
What Does the Embr Wave 2 Look Like?
This MIT-graduate-designed wearable takes a space-age stance in design with a round face and domed design. It comes in two color options – Rose Gold and Black and is around the same size as an Apple Watch, allowing it to sit easily on your wrist for round-the-clock use.
It is lightweight to hold, and the mesh strap is comfy even after hours of use. But you will need to get used to wearing the sensor face on the inside of your wrist to get the full benefit. Unfortunately, the metal face can be irksome when it comes to everyday tasks. It scrapes and scratches, making an unpleasant noise and leaving it open to being damaged quickly.
Does It Actually Cool You Down?
The biggest selling point of the Embr Wave 2 is that it claims to offer the ability to cool you down or warm you up based on your body temperature. It does this by sending warm or cold sensations through a thermal receptor direct to your wrist. These sensors work to convince your brain that you are at an ideal temperature and are meant to make you feel more comfortable rather than actually changing your temperature.
There have been many claims that these receptors don’t work, and we were pretty sceptical at first. However, when it was tested, it produced a cool sensation during and after working out that was enjoyable and helped us feel less drained when the session finished. The great thing about this sensor is that it is equally efficient in colder climates and gives you a simple way to feel a bit warmer when you need it.
How Does It Work?
It works by sending signals to your hypothalamus that tell your body that it is warmer or colder than it is. In testing conditions, the effect of these signals produced temperature sensations of between 5 – 9 degrees difference to actual body temperature. This makes it a valuable tool for anyone working out or people experiencing hot flushes.
Dr Hui Zhang, a UC Berkeley researcher, discovered that test participants wearing the Embr Wave felt 5.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer after three minutes on the warm setting and 4.6 degrees Fahrenheit colder after three minutes on the cool option.
According to the independent survey, women often report feeling chilly at work since the workplace thermostat is generally adjusted for men’s comfort. Women lose heat more rapidly than males because they are smaller and have a greater surface-area-to-body-volume ratio. According to a 2015 survey from the Dutch Maastricht University Medical Center, women prefer temperatures that are five degrees warmer than males.
The Wave 2 has no actual effect on your body temperature. Because an adult’s body is structured to function at a certain temperature range of 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit, you wouldn’t want that anyhow. Rather, it alters your impression of how hot or cold you are. The Wave is designed to deceive your brain into feeling warmer or colder in instances when you can’t manage the thermostat or forgot your sweater at home.
There’s a light bar on the Wave that you can touch to switch it on, change the temperature, and turn it off, but the majority of the Wave’s finer controls are accessible in Embr’s app. Quick, Essential, Extended, and Fall Asleep are the four preset settings. The former delivers fast cooling or heating waves over a five-minute period; Essential spreads the waves out a bit more over a ten-minute period, and Extended lasts for 30 minutes. Over the course of 35 minutes, Fall Asleep produces longer, softer waves of warmth or cooling and turns off the Wave’s LED lights.
New modes are released by Embr Labs through over-the-air software upgrades. They introduced Fall Asleep mode and the possibility to create custom modes while I was checking it out, allowing you to choose the strength and frequency of the heating and cooling waves, as well as the duration, which ranges from five to 60 minutes.
Is There a Catch?
Yes, a pretty big one. It doesn’t operate well outside. Cold breezes are likely to reach you, counteracting the warming feeling on your wrist. Sure, you get the cooling feelings outdoors on a hot day, but the sun is likely hammering down and erasing part of that respite as well.
Though it does work well inside. Go ahead and trick my brain into believing I’m at ease. Comfort is all I care about as long as I’m not losing fingers to frostbite or sweating out the last drops of life-saving water. The Wave is great for areas where the thermostat is controlled by someone else, such as the workplace.
What Other Features Does the Embr Wave 2 Offer?
The Embr Wave 2 is an upgraded version of the initial device. It comes with a number of useful features to help you throughout the day and night. Firstly, it is water-resistant, so it is safe to take out in the rain or use for high-intensity training.
This thermoregulator has scientists intrigued. There have been many studies conducted to work out the effectiveness of what is on offer. One of the most obvious conditions that it claims to help is with menopausal women who are experiencing temperature spikes and hot flushes. The device will not stop these from happening but can make them more bearable and provide welcome relief. Especially when they have experienced several flushes in a short space of time.
Another area that it is showing good results in is for patients who are dealing with prostate cancer and undergoing treatment. Again, the cooling and warming sensations help keep people feeling well after a treatment session. Stopping them from experiencing peaks and troughs in temperatures, enabling them to be more functional than before.
There are also ongoing studies into how the Embr Wave 2 can help sleep quality by regulating temperature. There is also a new study into whether the device can help Long COVID patients manage their symptoms more effectively. In reality, much more studying needs undertaking to get a clear idea of the potential the Embr Wave 2 has. But it certainly has people interested and is likely to go from strength to strength.
How Good is the Battery Life?
The battery on the Embr Wave 2 is rechargeable rather than replaceable, making it the latest in plug-in wrist wearables. The battery life is good, and you can expect it to last between three to five days if you are using it intermittently – although this can be longer or shorter depending on the amount of time you want to use it.
To charge it, you simply plug it in for around an hour and a half. The impressive thing about the battery is that you should not experience any lack of power or charging time for around five years. By which time there will have been many upgrades to the devices on offer!
Should I Buy an Embr Wave 2?
Working out whether you need a thermoregulator wearable or not is purely a personal choice based on your individual circumstances. We do not expect them to become devices that everyone owns. But there are certainly niche audiences that would benefit from what they have to offer.
If you have a medical condition that results in temperature dips and spikes, then this device is a great choice and will undoubtedly provide you with some relief. Equally, if you feel the cold or get overheated easily, investing in one of these devices is not a bad idea. Especially if you want to enjoy a faster cool down after a workout! All in all, we think that the Embr Wave 2 is a great wearable that offers something brand new to consumers all over the globe. Why not treat yourself to one and enjoy a more consistent body temperature!
Follow us on social media to stay up to date with our latest articles
Emma brings over a decade of freelance copy and content writing experience and is our Editor, Social Media Manager, and regular contributor. Specializing in long-form content such as blogs, articles, lead magnets, and white papers, Emma also provides businesses with email marketing, website copy, and landing pages.