The XXIII Winter Olympics have kicked off with the Opening Ceremony on February 9, and though the temperatures in Pyeongchang, South Korea may be cold, the athletes on Team USA will be staying warm, thanks to a bold and innovative new technology in clothing.
The USOC announced a joint partnership with Ralph Lauren that marks a first for clothing technology. The jackets to be worn in the ceremony use a new conductive ink made from electronic printing, which can carry and transfer heat efficiently. The inks are completely flexible and provide the wearer with up to eleven hours of heating from a rechargeable battery pack. The inks do not require time to heat up and are able to give the wearer a lightweight and fully functional method for combatting the cold. Ralph Lauren has designed two jackets using this technology: a parka for the Opening Ceremony, and a bomber jacket for the Closing Ceremony on February 25.
Ralph Lauren also announced the “Heat the Way for Team USA” campaign, in which the company will donate $1 to the USOC every time users of social media sites posting with the hashtag #HeatTheWayForTeamUSA.While these jackets won’t be used for competitive advantage, they do open the door to an exciting new technology that will soon be available to help consumers keep warm.