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By: Shelley Pierce shelley@techtoday.us
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     Outdoor air-conditioning is still science fiction but a personal AC unit that you wear around your neck does now exist and they can help you stand the heat or the cold. In this review I will introduce you to the Torras COOLIFY-S2 neck air-conditioner, fan, and neck heater. See photo 1 and 2. The first thing you have to realize is, that a neck AC unit canít cool your entire body; it can only blow cold or hot air toward your neck and head. During testing I did find that just cooling my head did make me feel less uncomfortable compared to how I felt doing the same workout in a warm gym without it.

     COOLIFY-S2 uses thermoelectric cooling (TEC) to generate air-conditioning or heat on demand. TEC is actually a recently developed technology. This technology allows for both cooling and heating from the same solid-state system. Devices that use TEC create heating or cooling by sending DC current through two different types of electrical conductors. The electron flow causes one of the electrical conductors to absorb heat from the other electrical conductor. This causes one side of the TEC solid-state hardware to get hot and the other side gets cold.

     The COOLIFY-S2 circuitry determines if the neck unit will deliver cooling or heating when you use it. To provide cooling the unitís fans draw warm air from the environment and then direct that air so it is cooled by the cold side of the TEC hardware. This cold air is directed to your neck and head. When you set the COOLIFY-S2 to its heat setting the fans donít run and heat from the hot side of the TEC hardware heats up the part of the unit that sits closest to both sides of your neck. Each mode can be set to low, medium, or a high setting. The amount of power demanded by each mode determines running time and testing gave the following results:

 

Reasons to Drool

     I did find that AC cooling my neck and head made me feel less uncomfortable. The 3-hour run time, if youíre out in the heat a full day, is a problem. Their solution is for you to use a battery pack so it is charging while it is in use. This setup did allow it to run for almost 7 hours before COOLIFY and my powerbank battery both needed to be recharged.

The heating mode did warm the area around my neck and head when I tried wearing it with a sweet shirt and hoody. In the heating mode you do need to be careful to make certain you donít overheat your neck. You can control the different modes using the buttons that are directly on the unit. However, it is definitely much easier to control mode settings using the free app that you download from the Android or iPhone store. See photo 3.

 

Not So Cool

     The first thing I want to bring to your attention is the companyís warning that some components of this product may interfere with medical devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators. I would suggest that you check with your doctor if you have any electrical medical devices implanted anywhere in your body.  If you donít like the idea of carrying a battery around in your pocket and you will be spending a full day outdoors in extremely hot weather, the 3 Hour 20 Minute running time of the AC mode leaves a lot to be desired. The unit does weigh almost 1 pound (14.5 ounces) and I would expect that some people will find it uncomfortable to wear.

     The unit does nothing to cool your entire body. The fan mode just blows hot air and it really didnít make me feel any cooler. If you have long hair you do need to be careful not to get any hair caught in the unitís fans.

     The charging wire comes in a sleeve that is labeled 18 watts, but the unit doesnít come with any charging block for you to use for recharging. How long it will take to recharge depends on the output of the charging block that you use. When I used an iPhone block (output 5.1V 2.1 A) it took 2 hours and 44 minutes to fully recharge. The Scosche PowerVolt PD60 fast wall charger, that we recently reviewed, cut charging time down to 1 hour. The company warrantee is only 180 days and, in my opinion, it should be at least one year.

COOLIFY 2S Neck Air Conditioner, Fan, & Heater - Review (MSRP $199.00)