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What if your clothing could heat you instead of your home? Based on a new study published in Nano Letter, this could soon be a reality.
Ecouterre reports that clothing could reflect 90 percent of body heat by dipping clothes in a solution made of AgNW, also known as silver nanowire according to the study. Regular clothing only reflects 20 percent of body heat back at your skin, making nanowire-coated clothing much more energy efficient.
The study was conducted by Professor Yi Cui of Stanford University and his team of researchers. They see this metal-coated clothing as a way to combat the rampant energy demands of the winter months, as they report that "47 percent of global energy continues to be spent simply on indoor heating."
While better heat insulation is a boon for clothing, the study offers a more outlandish possibility: clothing that can actually heat you.
This is possible since the metal nanowire coating can conduct electricity. All you would need to do is connect a battery to the clothing. And if you're worried about being electrocuted, don't fret. The study says that the amount of power the clothing would need is so low that the energy couldn't break through the electrical resistance of human skin.
Given that the current alternatives are essentially just electric blankets and hand warmers, nanowire clothing can't come soon enough. Although the fear of getting zapped is pretty tough to shake.