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New ski jacket uses electro-osmotic technology

Leading Swiss sports apparel brand Kjus has unveiled a garment that will feature an electronic, user-controlled membrane.

16th November 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Hünenberg


Leading Swiss sports apparel brand Kjus has unveiled a garment that will feature an electronic, user-controlled membrane. The innovative wearable technology – Hydro_Bot, integrated by Kjus into a ski jacket, actively pumps out sweat from inside the jacket to keep skiers dry, warm, and performing at their best.

Kjus’s 7sphere Hydro_Bot ski jacket actively pulls sweat away from the inner garments and out of the jacket using a process called electro-osmosis. This overcomes the issue of sweat becoming trapped inside a skier’s clothing system, and the dreaded post activity chill that results from having saturated inner garments, according to the company.

The Hydro_Bot technology is incorporated into the jacket via two panels strategically located on the high-sweat zone of the back. The technology consists of three functional layers; a membrane made up of trillions of pores per m2, surrounded by conductive fabric. When a small electrical pulse is applied, the pores turn into micro-pumps, actively pumping sweat away from the body and out of the jacket quickly and efficiently. Ultra-simple to use, the jacket can we switched on and off with the integrated control unit or via Bluetooth from the iPhone and Android compatible app.

“Hydro_Bot solves one of the biggest challenges in the ski and sportswear sector – breathability, and the issues that arise when a skier builds up a sweat in sub-zero temperatures, while wearing warm, waterproof clothing,” said Joacim Holter, Managing Director and Chairman, Osmotex.

Up until now, ski jackets using regular membranes have not been able to wick moisture away from the body fast enough, especially in colder temperatures when the breathability of regular membranes take a plunge. The Hydro_Bot jacket is up to 10 times more efficient than jackets with regular membranes, and is not adversely affected by freezing temperatures, Holter explained.

Joacim Holter, Managing Director and Chairman, Osmotex. © Osmotex/Kjus

By measuring the amount of sweat passing through the panels the app is also able to make practical recommendations on how to regulate body temperature, enabling skiers to minimize sweat production in the first place. “Kjus creates garments that enable sportspeople to focus on their performance and the experience. For two decades Kjus has been researching and developing new fabrics and technologies to tackle the challenge of breathability in skiwear,” commented Kjus’ Head of Innovation, Ken Kurtzweg. “The 7Sphere Hydro_Bot is a game-changing wearable-tech jacket that represents a giant leap forward on our mission to ensure skiers are kept dry, warm and comfortable from the first run of the day to the last.”

Patented by Swiss technology company Osmotex, Hydro_Bot has been in the development for over 10 years in collaboration with the Swiss research institute EMPA (the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and fabric developer Schoeller, and this is the first application of the Hydro_Bot technology within a garment.

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