Once in a while a product so complex and technologically advanced comes along we feel a university degree is required to properly appreciate its significance.
That’s pretty much the case with the specialised clothing produced by Hungarian manufacturer, 878.
For not only does their kit employ a revolutionary material known as graphene – which won its creators a Nobel Prize for Physics – they also produce a racing jacket with a built-in 5.4″ display which connects to a boat’s instrumentation via Bluetooth to display critical navigation data.
Let’s try to unravel what 878 Smart Apparel is all about. Firstly, the graphene.
Described by the company as a ‘wearable diamond’, graphene is a form of carbon which conducts heat better than any other known material.
It also conducts electricity, is virtually transparent and is so dense that nothing (including helium, the smallest gas atom) can pass through it.
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Most important from a marine perspective is that graphene is ultra-lightweight, flexible, stretchy, perfectly waterproof, stronger than steel, and provides about the same feeling of heat at both five and twenty degrees Celsius.
Then there’s the digital display. Implanted into the jacket sleeve, this features a foldable screen with a UV-protected, glare-free surface which is clearly visible in strong sunlight.
The system is set up using a downloadable app which allows the user to choose which data he or she wants to see.
For team use, different data sets can be created to suit the needs of each individual user.
Now throw into the mix some super strong layers of Dyneema hi-tech composite fabric and add a hydrophobic nano coating for good measure.
Then wrap it all up in a range of practical and functional designs to arrive at the answer to this mind-boggling techno-clothing equation: 878.
Prices from: €599 – €2,2800 inc VAT