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Gadgets: For toasty fingers, try polymer gloves

  • December 22, 2012 - 4:48 PM

Chaval Response-XRT gloves,

$390, www.chavalusa.com

Electrically heated gloves can save your fingers in extreme cold, but there are two challenges in making them. One is getting the heat evenly distributed. The other is preserving battery power.

Chaval claims to have solved those problems by using a polymer film instead of wires. The polymer delivers power specifically to the coldest spots to preserve battery power. The company claims the gloves stay warm up to three times as long as conventional gloves that use electrical wires and are set to a similar temperature.

The problem with conventional electric heating elements is that they heat uniformly. That sounds good, but if part of your hand is exposed to wind -- say you are on a snowmobile -- one section of the glove can get cold, while the parts tucked around the grips and out of the wind get too warm. All the while, the gloves draw power steadily.

The polymer in the Chaval Response-XRT gloves becomes denser when it gets cold. The denser it gets, the more conductive it gets. The more conductive spots then automatically draw more power and get hotter. That also lets the battery dole out power at a variable rate. The gloves are available for $390 directly from Chaval, online only.

AN UNDERSEA EFFECT

TO HELP CHILDREN SLEEP

Tranquil Turtle, $55, www.cloudb.com

It's a struggle faced by many parents: getting children to sleep at night. The Tranquil Turtle from Cloud B is here to lend a helping flipper by combining three sleep aids in one: a plush toy, a night light and a music box.

The turtle creates an underwater effect with tiny lights that shine beneath its opaque shell. The lights revolve slowly, casting a shimmery, aquamarine scene across the ceiling.

The turtle also plays a tune or, for parents who prefer ambient sounds, the soft rumble of distant ocean waves.

To save battery power, the turtle shuts off after 23 minutes. There is no option for continuous play. A timer that could run for at least an hour or two would be a nice addition, because children often wake up the moment their music shuts off.

The Tranquil Turtle is priced at $55, but it can be found at retailers like Amazon.com and Bed Bath & Beyond for around $40.

NEW YORK TIMES

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