As much as we are all trying to deny it, summer is officially upon us in Qatar. The nights of comfortable outdoor dining, leisurely walks on the Corniche or tea in the Souq are now replaced by instantly fogged up glasses, lava-like car seats and sweat mustaches. Still, if you’re like me, you still try to get outside a bit to escape the constant barrage of freezing air conditioning that dries out your skin and the depression that comes from a complete lack of natural light.
In the summer, Japan can also get quite hot, so a Japanese company, Kuchofuku, developed a line of air-conditioned lifestyle products, including clothing. The clothing, ranging from jackets to dress shirts, has small fan units built-in. The fans run on low-energy batteries that can be charged from a standard home outlet and they operate for up to 11 hours. The clothing keeps your body cool, allowing you to beat the heat, while still enjoying the outdoors. You can also wear the clothing indoors to save energy. Rather than cooling an entire room, you are cooling just yourself.
The applications in Qatar for this are plentiful. Many people need to work outdoors in Qatar in the summer, from site managers to construction workers, so cooled clothing would make their lives much more comfortable – and safer! Also, for a country with a high rate of obesity, being able to at least walk outdoors in the brutal summer months could help increase fitness and activity levels. As a runner, I’d love to see a line of workout clothes with cooling systems built-in so I don’t have to resort to the boring treadmill from June through September.
The line of clothing from Kuchofuku is admittedly not the most fashionable, however it does seem to work best in looser fitting, modest clothing. Therefore, much of what is popular in Qatar could work well with this. It’s easy to imagine an air-conditioned abaya or thobe. With just a touch more focus on design, air-conditioned clothing is definitely a technology I’d love to see in Qatar – and soon so we can survive this heat!
More cool technology I want to see in Qatar: