No superhero worth their salt would go out without a super suit — complete with powers that render their foes helpless. If you are an eco-warrior then pollution is your sworn enemy, and fortunately futurist-designers Nieuwe Heren are ready with your suit.
Okay, so it's a parka instead of a spandex bodysuit, but really the intent is the same. The parka will alert you and keep you safe from your enemy — pollution.
At its basic level, the Aegis Parka alerts you to dangers from pollution in the environment. It contains and integrated MQ-135 air pollution sensor that detects ammonia, nitrogen oxides, alcohol, benzene, smoke and carbon dioxide. If any of those items is detected the parka's integrated LED lights will light up.
The higher the concentration of the pollutant, the 40 special "extra bright" LEDs will warn you of the added danger.
This parka isn't just a warning device — it's also a weapon to protect you from the pollution. The makers have added a respirator to the design that filters out nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, hydrocarbons, asbestos dust, diesel emissions, road dust and pollen. Clearly the designers aren't kidding in their mission to keep the wearer safe once alerted to danger.
Finally, the parka is treated with titanium dioxide — a photocatalyst compound that has sterilizing properties when exposed to UV light. With this added to the parka's arsenal, it renders the garment resistant to dirt, mold, bacteria and other airborne pollutants.
Essentially, it cleans itself.
With all this fruit you'd be expecting to come out looking like a character from the Avengers, but the parka itself is relatively mild-mannered in appearance. It has a modern vibe to it, but looks well cut and isn't so off putting that it would be relegated to the back of the closet.
Sure, we haven't seen what it looks like with the LED sensors on, but frankly I'm not sure that they would detract from the appeal. After all we've reported on dresses and jewelry integrated with LEDs — so why not a parka?
Plus, even a mild glow from your LEDs would also keep you safe from oncoming cars at night. More bang for your buck.
This isn't the first time we've heard of Nieuwe Heren. We reported on their ahead-of-its-time keyboard pants. Clearly they are a creative bunch.
They humbly call their prototype parka the Aegis, a reference to the shield and breastplate belonging to Zeus and Athena — two pretty powerful lofty and powerful immortals. Clearly the inference is that this parka is the bad-ass enemy of pollution.
Here's hoping the parka delivers on that promise and the designers find a manufacturer to help them bring it to market. If they do, they're looking at a $300 price point.
We'd expect nothing less from the designers. A superhero-worthy product combined with a name from mythology isn't expected to come cheap.