You know that one person that's always either strangely cold or abnormally hot? Yup, that's me.
So when I heard about a piece of jewelry that regulates your internal temperature, I was immediately on board. Dubbed the Embr Wave ($249; embrlabs.com), it looks a lot like a smartwatch or fitness tracker, but this device won't tell time or track your calories. Instead, it cools or warms the fleshy underside of your wrist, triggering your nerves to send a signal to your brain.
To be clear, the Wave doesn't actually change your body temperature. You wouldn't want that anyway, since an adult's body is programmed to run at a normal baseline of 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit. It only changes your perception of how warm or cool you are by tricking your brain to process its thermal sensation.
Intrigued? I was too. I've been sitting on the Embr hype train for a while, so when my weather app announced an incoming heat wave in my area, I figured it was the best time as any to give it a go.
The device itself looks pretty chic and futuristic (I got rose gold, FYI)—my boyfriend called it a "super fancy-looking bracelet." The packaging is also really nice and reminded me of unboxing a shiny new iPhone. Translation: It's easy to wrap and great to give as a gift.
I have ridiculously tiny wrists, so I was initially worried that the bracelet wouldn't fit right. Thankfully, the metal mesh strap allows you to adjust it to any length with a magnetic clasp, so you should be able to wear it no matter the width of your wrist.
You do have to charge the device with a USB charging port before using, but don't worry: The Wave's thermal sensations, which Embr refers to as Waveforms, are engineered to last a long time—two to three days, or 15 to 50 heating/cooling cycles. Plus, it charges really quickly. The whole thing took about one to two hours, and you'll know it's fully charged when the button on the face of the device goes solid green.
Although the Wave comes with a manual, its functions are pretty self-explanatory and easy to control; the device has a button that turns half blue, half red when you press it. Simply tap the red side to warm up, the blue side to cool off. However, the best way to appreciate its full capabilities is through the free app, which features a virtual dial that you can adjust just as you would control a standard thermostat. The app has other features as well—my personal favorite allows you to send a virtual hug to another Embr Wave user.
Sure enough, the temperature skyrocketed into the upper 90s, and I was grateful for the immediate pulses of icy coolness that emanated from my wrist. It was a strange feeling at first, but I got used to the sensation pretty quickly. In a matter of seconds, my body "recalibrated" itself and I could feel a difference.
If you're confused as to how a miniscule patch on your wrist can do that, think of it like the soothing warmth of a pocket heat pack or a refreshing splash of cool water on your face. But instead of a temporary spritz, it's ongoing. And since the inside of your wrist has a very high density of thermoreceptors, you only need the small area to make an impact on how you feel overall.
A few personal observations: Although the device is pretty nifty and makes a difference with your overall comfort level, don't expect it to replace your trusty air conditioner or heater. You won't be able to wear a bikini in a snowstorm or a turtleneck on the beach. I was still hot during the heat wave like everyone else, but there was a noticeable difference compared to not wearing it, which I deduced as soon as I took it off. Personally, I'm really looking forward to the bracelet's heat component during the dead of New York winter.
If you get hot flashes or overheated when you're stressed, or have health issues that affect your internal temperature, the Embr Wave is perfect for you. The OG Wave is currently having a summer sale and available to purchase on the site for $249, with additional accessories available for an extra cost. The brand also recently released Embr Wave 2 ($299; embrlabs.com), which comes with 30 percent stronger cooling abilities for those who need it. But don't procrastinate too long—those discounted prices are only happening for a limited time.