Can our society get any more crazed in the pursuit of creature-comforts? You bet. Try the latest in ultimate pampering–Personal Environment Zones (PEZ). Never leave home without your own personal heating and cooling system, protected in a bubble of purified air and wrapped in a cocoon of soothing sounds.
All it takes are the right gadgets to achieve this blissful state. No need to sweat the summers with the Sharper Image Personal Cooling System. For $49.95, this high-tech “icepack” fits around the neck and blows cool air with a built-in fan. The latest upgraded version from Sharper Image, the Personal Warm+Cool System ($69.95), will keep you comfortable year-round. This nifty stainless steel gizmo looks like neckwear from Star Wars and plugs into a battery pack in your pocket or on a belt. On a sweltering day in July, it bathes you with 20 degree cooler air, good for mowing the lawn or slaving over a hot bar-b-que. Or reset it to stay warm on those chilly winter walks, football games, or skiing the slopes. Personally, I’d rather wear the device set to max warmth and stay inside next to the fire.
But let’s get back to summertime and cutting the grass. Anybody’s allergies acting up? Here are a couple of PEZ gadgets to clean the air you breathe, inside or outdoors. Magellan?s Air Supply ($95.00) is a portable air purifier that can be worn around your neck. About the size of a portable CD player, it uses corona discharge technology to zap air-borne impurities before you breathe them. It works on pollen, pollution, dust, and even the neighbor’s dog. Magellan’s Air Supply runs on a 9 volt battery and comes with an adaptor for wall outlets and car lighters.
A similar device, Brookstone?s Air Purifier, also uses corona discharge technology to eliminate contaminants from the air. For non-smokers and asthma suffers, it can make breathing a lot easier in smoky restaurants and bars.
Sharper Image Design’s answer to the problem is their Personal Air Purifier, a smaller version of their Ionic Breeze home air purifiers. For $59.95, it cleans the air by negative ion generation, then blows it gently towards your nose and mouth. It zaps viruses and bacteria, a real advantage for confined spaces like aircraft cabins. The built-in humidifying feature also makes the dry airplane-stinky air more tolerable on long flights. The Personal Air Purifier even improves the burrito-breath of the kid in the next seat.
Okay, so now you’re comfortable with the temperature and breathing sweet smelling air. What else do you need to relax? How about the soothing sound of rainfall, chirping birds or ocean waves? Brookstone’s Tranquil Moments II Deluxe Sound System ($120) is a digital “sound conditioner” that lets you neutralize the annoying noises of the outside world. Select your favorite calming sound from the assortment of add-on of sound cards. You might even be able to sleep on the airplane.
Sharper Image has a similar gadget called the Ultra Heart and Sound Cocoon. One of the ten natural sounds is sure to lull you to sleep. There’s even a heartbeat for those who really want to return to the womb.
But if that’s not relaxing enough, try the Lightscape Relaxation System ($149.95), also from Sharper Image. Enjoy your own personal light and sound show. Or plug it into a CD player to add your favorite tunes to the show. The sleek unit is built around a pair of dark shades with headphones. If you’re going to create a cocoon, you might as well look cool doing it.