This wearable changes temperature to trick your body into feeling warmer or cooler

The second-gen version of the MIT-founded Embr Wave is (literally) cooler than the original

Person wearing Embr Labs Wave 2 and looking at companion app
(Image credit: Embr Labs)

Embr Labs has launched the second iteration of its Wave wearable. This unusual device looks similar to the rest of today's best smartwatches or fitness trackers, but is focused on just one thing: temperature. Press a button, and a device will heat up or cool down. Apparently, changing the temperature of that particular, sensitive spot on the inside of your wrist is enough to convince the brain that the body is cooler or warmer than it is. 

The benefits, Embr says, are varied. The sensations can help manage stress or anxiety, and can also act as a sleep aid. They're also popular with those suffering from menopause or perimenopause symptoms, to help ease the discomfort of hot flashes.

The original Embr Wave 1 hit the market in 2017, and the Wave 2 features a range of tweaks and improvements on its predecessor. The main one is that this model packs stronger cooling capabilities. The design has been updated to be both smarter (this one has a sleek round 'face', while the original has a slightly more awkward rectangular one), and more usable (the buttons and indicator lights have been shifted to the side, making them more discreet and harder to accidentally activate).

Person wearing Embr Labs Wave 2

(Image credit: Embr Labs)

You can also use the companion app to control the wearable, and track your daily Wave use so that you can use it to pinpoint, for example, when you tend to feel stressed in the day. It'll also let you launch pre-programmed sensations, and finally you can set the device so that it will only warm or only cool. 

If phrases like "patented thermal wellness science" are making you question whether this is all a bit, well, made up, the fact that it's MIT-founded and comes with clinical validation might go some way to convincing you. The Embr 2 is currently involved in clinical trials at Stanford University and Johns Hopkins (to see if it can help with the symptoms for patients suffering from POTs or those undergoing chemotherapy, respectively).

The Embr Wave 2 is available to order now for an MSRP of $349 (or you can go for the Wave, for $299). The company is US based but international shipping is available. 


Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is a lifestyle journalist specialising in sleep and wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to certified experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. She's currently Sleep Editor on Tom's Guide and TechRadar, and prior to that ran the Outdoors and Wellness channels on T3 (now covered by Matt Kollat and Beth Girdler-Maslen respectively).