Thermal Comfort
Embr Labs

Thermal Comfort

Embr Labs
Team Members
Chris O'Connell, Rance Pritchard, Chandlyr Jackson
Industrial Design, UX Design, Mechanical Engineering

Ever feel like you’re always too hot or too cold? You’re not alone. Embr set out to solve the problem of personal thermal comfort. The Embr Wave is the world's first wearable personal thermostat.

“When I was at MIT I was very frustrated by the fact that there was a lot of air conditioning and heating use in spaces that are not well occupied.”
-David Cohen-Tanugi- Chief Product Officer of Embr Labs

Embr is a team of MIT graduates that came to us with an idea inspired by issues they were facing every day; one founder was always too cold and the other too hot.

What if you could take the idea of running your wrist under cold water or holding a hot cup of tea and turn it into a wearable device?


We faced a few challenges throughout the design process; the internals were large and required a heat sync to function. We celebrated the size of the heat sink by designing a unibody aluminum housing that was durable and functional. Etching the surface allowed an increase in surface area and was developed into a recognizable brand motif. The waves mimic the pulsing pattern of heating and cooling that the device delivers.

Rough wireframes thinking through onboarding and device pairing

App design

In parallel to the hardware, we designed an app that would add value to the device. We spoke with prospective customers to find their needs to shape the ideal experience. The app tracks your usage to give you insight into when you are most warm or cold and unlocks custom modes such as night mode or extra heat.


The single light pipe is the only UI on the entire device. Both sides of the light pipe have one button one side to activate and increase warming and one to activate and increase cooling. With such a simple UI we had to brainstorm how to convey different messages clearly.

Launch strategy

The final product was launched on Kickstarter, and within the first day of campaigning Embr Wave met their $100,000 goal. By the end of their campaign, Embr raised over $629,000.

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