For anyone who has been on the Tokyo subway, the London Tube, or the New York City transit system, you know how hot and sweaty the journey can be during summer months. Air conditioning is non-existent or ineffective. The situation is even worse if you’re on public transportation during rush hour. You’ll inevitably find yourself standing shoulder-to shoulder with strangers and face-to-armpit with the sweatiest person in existence. Not sure how it always happens, but it appears to be a natural law. However, thanks to a new Japanese invention, commuters may have a new best friend.
Designed by Thanko, a new mini fan is now available for purchase. Designed to stop people from sweating, and smelling, in the summer heat, the fan provides a steady supply of cool air to a person’s armpit. The device clips onto the bottom of a shirtsleeve, so it will be visible if used by someone wearing a short sleeve shirt. While the exposed clip may draw some weird looks, that is far better than people gawking at sweat stains bleeding through a shirt. In terms of size, the fan is 2 inches by 2.5 inches by 0.6 inches. It weighs a little over one ounce.
The armpit fan has three speeds to cover the gamut of sweaters. A sensor in the fan detects moisture levels and cools the armpit according to those readings. Depending on how sweaty a person is, the strange device can provide between five and nine hours of cooling on a single charge. For those on the go, two AAA batteries can power it. It also comes with a USB charger. If you’re interested in trying out a pair, they cost $36 for both. Consumers in Japan have so far loved the weird invention. Nevertheless, like any product, there are some detractors. Some buyers have complained that the fans are loud and are distracting for people working in an office environment.