For the past few years, several companies have been trying to create the perfect portable air conditioner, and it’s a task that’s taken on new urgency as extreme heat waves spread across the United States.
They’ve tried self-cooling undershirts, wrist-worn cooling plates, and windowless cooling machines, all for the sake of conserving energy without sacrificing comfort. But so far, none seem quite as practical as the Coolify, a $150 wearable that hangs around your neck. Think of it as an extremely fancy version of the $20 bladeless neck fans that you can buy from generic vendors on Amazon.
Torras, the Shenzen-based company behind Coolify, says its version is different from those cheap gadgets, even if it looks similar on the surface. That’s largely because of its ceramic cooling plate that sits right behind your neck. By running an electrical current between a semiconductor and the plate, the device creates a cooling sensation via a property called the Peltier effect.
“Basically, a neck fan can sometimes just blow hot air around,” Torras spokesman Jackson Wightman says. “This is genuinely an air conditioner as a result of the cooling plate.”