www.HYathletic.com will be the place to head once our kickstarter campaign has come to an end...see you there soon.
note - All FLUX gloves rewarded in pairs
WHY RUNNING GLOVES?
HY athletic want to launch a product that delivers something meaningful, something our backers can 'feel' when they use it, something that makes people react. Our glove prototype does just that.
The design was inspired by our own frustration when selecting the best thermal outfit for those crisp winter runs; getting it just right is a difficult balance. Too much gear and you end up overheated, peeling layers off, stuffing pockets and belts with discarded apparel. It breaks your rhythm. Wear too little, and the chill soon sets in. We just want the freedom to enjoy the run with as little distraction as possible from our gear.
As sports technologists, product designers and keen runners we knew we could improve this scenario. With a little research and field-testing, we came away with some great insights. We found it was possible to create running gear that adapts better to the environment and physical heat flux than anything currently available; we just had to take our findings and basic prototypes further, developing them into commercial products.
The first innovation of the many that we want you to enjoy, is the FLUX glove.
The hands are like radiators, an efficient but sensitive thermal zone of the body, able to release and absorb a significant amount of heat. Our testing showed us just how sensitive the hands were, with cold exposure rapidly shutting down warm blood flow to the extremities.
When we start our winter run, we are comfortable, we want to stay warm and keep the chill out, insulating our valuable body heat. We keep our hands warm and our regular running gloves do an adequate job, sometimes too good job! As we build up our pace, core temperature rises and the balance between the external cold and internal heat shifts. Heat and sweat need to be removed for the body to remain comfortable and at peak performance. We need to remove some insulation. Off come our old gloves, perhaps an outer layer, and by doing so we rebalance the thermal system and some comfort is maintained. But this breaks our flow and rhythm; we also have to carry our discarded gear. In addition the hands are unprotected against the cold and quickly respond by shutting off blood flow. No longer able to help with the efficient cooling of the core, they become painfully cold whilst the rest of us heats up!
WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?
Clearly what we needed was to be able to control the exposure and insulation of the hand throughout the run - climate control for the hands. After several glove prototypes, including electrically heated gloves, we established the unique design that achieved this in the simplest and lightest way possible. The insulation and exposure of the hand could be easily controlled by placing an air permeable mesh on the palm and the opening and closing of the fist. When held in a fist, the mesh is unexposed and the hand is well insulated. When the hand is open the mesh becomes fully exposed, releasing heat and moisture away from the palm. Before becoming too chilled, the hand can be closed again, so maintaining thermal comfort and continuing to act as an efficient radiator of body heat throughout the run.
We designed the glove with the focus on running but if your playing winter soccer or participating in similar outdoor sports, even spectating, then you will enjoy the functionality of the gloves.
TELL ME ABOUT THE CURRENT PROTOTYPE
The current factory version of FLUX is insulated with a closed knit on the back face of the glove. The FLUX square mesh is placed on the palm face and fingers where required. The material is a 200gsm blend of Nylon, Polyester and Elastane to give a soft touch with great wicking performance.
Stowage isn't an issue either - using a stretch warp knit construction, the glove is very light and compact compared to anything else out there. It's ideal to stash in your flip-belt or pockets.
When we tested the first factory prototypes, the switch between warming and cooling was considerable. With enough insulation to keep the hand comfortable, as we warmed up, the sensation of cooling that the gloves were able to produce when activated was significant. The gloves' design and functionality are truly unique and disclosed in our patent application 1416642.5 GB.
This added a new element of climate control and comfort to our cold weather runs and, more importantly, less need to make adjustments to the rest of our winter run apparel.
THE THERMAL PERFORMANCE OF FLUX
You will be able to feel the performance of the gloves for yourself but until you do we have provided you with some data here. Field testing with the FLIR thermal camera and i-button wireless thermisters helped us understand the level of climate control we had achieved.
Here is a typical testing scenario. With the outside temperature at a cool and breezy 7°C (44°F) we measured the temperature of the palm side of the hand using our FLIR thermal camera before donning each glove. Both hands start at a comfortable 22°C (72°F) . The Flux glove is placed on the right hand, a premium brand glove (Sugoi) on the left hand. The run is a steady 5km loop.The rest of our outfit is best balanced for the temperature including: beanie, knee-length shorts, polycotton T-shirt layered under an Aeroloft jacket.
In the infrared images below we can see both hands at the same starting temperature. 22°C is a cool but comfortable temperature for the hand.
By the end of the 5km loop the standard glove had pushed palm temperature up to a muggy 29°C (84°F). Weighing indicated a 10g increase in mass from absorption of sweat. The left hand felt hot and clammy in the standard glove from about a third of the way through the run. The standard gloves would most likely have been taken off and stowed if this wasn’t a test run.
In contrast, the FLUX glove allowed us to control the climate, resulting in a warm and comfortable finishing temperature of 24°C (75°F). We measured the mass of the FLUX glove too - it took on so little sweat the scales couldn’t measure any increase. The measured evaporation of the sweat from the FLUX glove increases the cooling effect.
During the test run we used the opening and closing of the hand to directly control the temperature.
Wearing the FLUX glove, we can feel the temperature and humidity stay in the comfort zone, and the dynamic response is clearly shown in the data. At the same time that the standard glove become hot and clammy, the FLUX glove was maintaining its performance and comfort as it did for the entire run. We also weighed the gloves pre and post run to see how much sweat had accumulated in each. The FLUX glove took on no measurable perspiration, allowing it all to evaporate away from the hand during the run; by contrast, the standard glove held on to 10g of yucky sweat.
With the data we have captured from our recent field testing wearing the most recent prototypes, we want to make some final tweaks to the design so it’s perfect for Kickstarter. We are going to go through one more round of prototypes to reduce the mesh effect at the tips of the fingers back to the first knuckle and reduce the light mesh structure forming the graphic on the back of the hand … we love how it looks but we have to be true to our performance criteria! We will also be testing a heavier knit for a possible sub-zero glove based on the same concept.
We will be developing the 3 sizes based on Adultdata measures and correlated to our test subjects feedback. We have developed using the medium size and it fits a very broad range of hand sizes due to its stretch capacity. Having the ability to vary the size and tailor the fit and function is important so we are continuing to develop the 3 sizes and the sizing guide. These will be ready for when we complete the campaign so you'll be able to choose the right size.
The FLUX glove uses the stretch onto the hand to activate the palm side mesh. This makes the gloves beautifully compact and light off the hand for the insulation they provide.They roll up and stow ready to go with you whatever the weather.
HOW IS FLUX MADE?
We wanted to create the lightest, most compact and functional product that we could. The design required the ability to create large open mesh structures to unlock the climate control we desired. Robotically controlled seamless warp knitting offered all of these elements. Because of the particular knitting technique, items made from our hybrid sports yarn are run-proof, protecting the rest of the glove if you do catch the mesh. The garments that come out of the machines are in one piece; everything is seamless so comfort is maximised.
For us this is just the start - as seasoned sports technologists, researchers and developers we are excited to bring our innovations to the world. We have many exciting new developments ready to follow up the FLUX gloves, including further developments for the FLUX range.
WHO ARE HY?
We are experienced sports technologists and developers collaborating on HY product developments and projects. We access state of the art labs based in the UK, giving us the R&D capability of organisations many times the scale of our start-up.
WHY KICKSTART FLUX?
We’ve already put investment into the development, patents and proving of the concept. Now we need your help to buy minimum-order quantities (around £5,000 worth of gloves). We've spent the last few months in the lab, at the factory and on the road working on the FLUX products and technologies, but before we make that final commitment and go from prototype to product, we need your backing.
The £5,000 raised will fund production and final developments with the factory - we'll be able to place the minimum-order quantity with our manufacturer and we'll be able to make FLUX a reality.
JOIN WITH US!
We are initially offering FLUX in black. Choose a backer level on the right side of this page. If we reach stretch goals that enable additional colours then we would love to hear which colours you’d prefer. To highlight the special warp knitting process used in FLUX products, we are also including our FLUX arm warmers in our rewards. FLUX products use a special warp knitting to acheive high air permeability mesh patterns, giving you ventilation exactly where you need it.
FLUX isn’t a reality just yet. We’ve been working hard on our prototypes, but we need your help to make FLUX fly. We’re launching on Kickstarter to find out if the FLUX glove is something your running wardrobe needs, and to see if you are as passionate about your clothing’s performance as we are. Show your support by backing us, liking, tweeting ... whatever you can do to help us spread the news.
Thanks for your support, Kickstarter. HY five!
FLIR ONE - THERMAL IMAGING ON THE FLY
TOUCH SCREEN COMPATIBLE
THERMOCRON T-SHIRT - Kickstarter exclusive
We are going to develop some great seamless running T-shirts for the summer and we'd love your input and ideas. But to keep your look 'HY' when your not pounding the streets and trails we are going to develop a tailored cotton T with a thermochromatic ink print exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign.
If the possibility of stretching our goals becomes a reality then we can develop some colour variations to the FLUX gloves as well as undertake the development of the higher insulation version. We'll listen to our backers to guide us to which stretch goals we should pursue.
Risks and challenges
We have committed fully to the project and are well along the development path. The prototypes we have are full embodiment versions, manufactured on the same machine as will be used in full production. We've run these hard over the winter holidays and are really please with performance, they are ready to go.
We need to confirm our order on the machines to get the bulk order made, which we can only do once we pass our goal with your help. Constant communication with our manufactures means they are happy that there will be little delay in booking production. Once on the machines the process of bulk production is rapid. Manufacture and shipping time should be a short window of time (~28 days).
Once the gloves are with us, we will check, pack and ship the Kickstarter gloves from the UK. We are going to produce a combined postage and packing envelope to reduce waste and shipping bulk. We'll update on this once the project looks like it is heading for success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)