• The protective Aegis Parka

    Credit: Nieuwe Heren

    The protective Aegis Parka
The designers at the firm Nieuwe Heren have taken inspiration from mythology to create a multifunctional protective jacket. The Aegis Parka, named after the gold snakeskin-covered aegis shield used by Zeus, employs a number of material technologies that both warn and defend its wearer of various urban hazards.

An MQ-135 air-pollution sensor detects unsafe levels of substances such as ammonia, benzene, and smoke, alerting the user via integrated LEDs (the brighter they burn, the more dangerous the territory). Fortunately, the jacket's titanium dioxide coating is able to photocatalyze physical pollutants, rendering them harmless in the presence of sunlight. The primary material of the uber-parka is a Schoeller Ceraspace textile made from abrasion-resistant ceramic particles, and the jacket liner consists of a Schoeller PCM fabric that contains phase change microcapsules to balance extreme temperatures.

Although the Aegis Parka is not yet ready for prime time, its design suggests that the urge to augment the protective functionality of garments is not limited to aerospace or military applications.