This technology is based on the application of functional polymers – fine graphite and carbon nanotubes – to textiles. As ITMO students note, they succeeded in introducing electronics into fabrics while working on their WARMR startup that they will then use for their Master’s thesis defense.
The young entrepreneurs first came up with the idea of making heated clothing for eco-transport lovers. The first batch of their smart products included bicycle seat covers and handles for scooters and strollers, which they later presented to major industrial companies.
The idea has received close attention from the Red Fox company – the leading Russian producer of equipment and apparel for extreme sports and outdoor activities. Together they created an electronically heated jacket that keeps you warm for six hours, even in extremely cold temperatures to -70°C.
“We started with jackets because this is one of the most essential things for residents and explorers of the Arctic region, as well as extreme sports lovers. You no longer have to wear ten sweaters under your outerwear. This jacket is powered by a standard power bank, which will work for up to six hours without having to recharge it. And you wash it without damaging the system. Smart Red Fox clothes will be functional, warm, light, and, above all, comfortable,” says the company’s founder Olavi Siikki, Master’s student at ITMO’s Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations.
The smart products have already been presented at an exhibition organized by the X International Forum Arctic: Today and Future. And now Red Fox and WARMR plan to expand their joint heated product line. In addition to clothing – jackets, trousers, and gloves – there will be sleeping bags, rugs, and accessories also based on printed electronics.
“Our company has extensive experience in creating professional equipment for extreme conditions, including for work in the Arctic region. By launching a line of smart clothes, we are taking another step towards innovative technologies. Our colleagues from ITMO are just starting their path, and we want to help them. WARMR is an expert in the field of printed electronics, and we will be in charge of technology and production. I am sure that our cooperation will open up new opportunities for those who work in the severe cold and explore one of the unique regions of the planet – the Arctic,” says Vladislav Moroz, Director of Red Fox.