One Clothing for Different Temperatures

July 7, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. flexible (adj.) [flek-suh-buhl] – capable of adjusting to a particular situation or use
Example: She can easily meet friends because of her flexible personality.

2. built-in (adj.) [bilt] [in] – made a part of something (usually  not detachable)
Example: We plan to put built-in cabinets in the kitchen.
3. eliminate (v.) [ih-lim-uh-neyt] – to remove something (or someone)
Example: She was eliminated from the competition because she was overqualified.

4. suitable (adj.) [soo-tuh-buhl] – appropriate for some purpose or use
Example: The use of air conditioning is suitable in warm places.

5. joint (n.) [joint] – (in anatomy) it refers to the point of connections of bones
Example: People suffering from arthritis experience joint pains.

Read the text below.

Indian engineer Kranthis Kiran Vistakula developed a unique jacket which is flexible to both hot and cold weather.

Vistakula, who was then a student in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, came up with the idea because he wanted to have a kind of clothing that can keep him warm during winter and keep him cool when the heaters were turned on in the school rooms.

Vistakula applied the principle of Peltier effect which is used in cooling electronic gadgets like laptops. According to this principle, when electricity passes through the meeting point of two different metals, a difference in temperature occurs. As a result, one side ‘heats up’ while another side ‘cools down’. In electronic devices, built-in fans are needed to blow off heat and prevent overheating.

Vistakula was able to eliminate the need of fans by using special materials to create tiny, light, and immovable parts suitable to the clothing. He also attached rechargeable batteries which would produce the electricity needed in the clothing. The jacket can produce a temperature from zero to 100 degree Celsius.

Aside from jackets, Vistakula’s company, Dhamma Innovations, also manufactures mufflers, shoes, helmets, and knee and elbow pads that are used to soothe joint pains.

Vistakula’s team targets to scale up production and to make the company’s products more affordable for consumers. They are also hoping to become a hundred-million-dollar company in 3 to 4 years.  

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of people living in a country with four seasons in terms of clothing?
·         Are there any advantages of having different kinds of clothes?

Discussion B

·         What are the things you consider when shopping for clothes?
·         Would you ever buy the products made by Vistakula?

July 7, 2011