'Apollo' dress shirt made from space suit materials
A group of engineers from MIT have invented the Apollo, shown here, a dress shirt that incorporates space suit technology to regulate the wearer's body temperature.
Published Monday, July 9, 2012 11:03AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 9, 2012 11:42AM EDT
A group of entrepreneurs from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a dress shirt that uses space suit technology to moderate body temperature and improve comfort and wearability.
The shirt, dubbed Apollo, incorporates technology used in NASA space suits to "absorb and release heat."
"As MIT engineers we design space suits that regulate astronauts' body temperature using what's called a Phase-change Material. We use that same technology in the blend that became Apollo," said a statement on the group's website.
"We're literally taking technology from space and putting it in your shirt."
When the wearer is hot, say outside grabbing lunch on a scorching day, the shirt has the ability to draw heat away from the body and store it, according to the inventors.
Then, when he returns to the air-conditioned office, the shirt releases the stored heat back to the body: "This keeps your skin one to two degrees closer to where it should be."
The shirts are made using a knit synthetic blend, rather than woven cotton, which allows the shirt to perform its unique heat-storage function, according to the website.
The website for the Ministry of Supply, the company created by the MIT entrepreneurs, promises the shirt will be "the most comfortable dress shirt you'll ever own."
The Apollo is expected to retail for about US$129,
The inventors say the shirt doesn't sacrifice style for function, either. They spent a year working on the design, and the final prototype is being manufactured by a New York company that also works with Ralph Lauren.
It is also designed to move with the body, and incorporates odour-fighting materials such as silver thread and an anti-microbial coating.
Though the shirts are not yet available for purchase, the inventors are well on their way to getting them in the hands of buyers.
Using Kickstarter, an online funding platform that helps entrepreneurs seek financial support, the founders have now raised US$319,543 -- far surpassing their original $30,000 goal with two days still left before the campaign ends on July 11.