A Jacket That Takes the “Ick” Out of Your Commute

| By Editorial Staff

The Germinator Transit Jacket

If you thought your choices for limiting your exposure to germs in public places was wrapping yourself in Saran Wrap, bathing in hand sanitizer or staying home, Gravitytank and Betabrand have another option for you: a fleece jacket.

The Germinator Transit Jacket isn’t made of the same fluffy material your mom wrapped you in as a baby. It’s a high-tech piece of outerwear.

This jacket is lightweight and made of water-resistant softshell fleece. It looks just like a jacket you’d wear on a dreary Seattle day. But, if you’ve got a commute or are out in other public places, it’s a line of defense against the germs spread around by your fellow humans.

The Germinator Jacket is constructed of material made of nanoparticles that help inhibit the growth of bacteria. For the areas that are really susceptible to infection – your hands and face – there’s a silver-infused antimicrobial fabric on the cuffs, the extra-wide collar and the oversized hood. Since they provide the most protection, those pieces are removable and washable, letting you launder away the germs with a hot, soapy scrub.

The Germinator’s fold-out mesh sleeves with thumbholes provide you with spontaneous protection. If riding the subway puts you in contact with fellow commuters who sneeze and then grab the pole to steady themselves, you don’t have to opt to balance on your two feet to avoid holding onto that pole yourself. Slide the mesh sleeves over your hands and slip the thumbholes over your thumbs. Viola. Your hands are protected from direct contact with any ick.

If you’re not a commuter or wouldn’t be caught wearing fleece (even if your mother told you to), scientists around the world are finding other ingenious applications for wearable technology:

  • “Blue light” bandages that can relieve backaches with therapeutic light
  • Infection-resistant hospital gowns, staff uniforms and bedding made from antibacterial textiles
  • Sun blocking clothing treated with zinc oxide, the same chemical used on diaper rash, chapped skin and minor burns

What’s next for the practical application of science into our everyday lives? Disinfectant lighting that reduces harmful micro-organisms in bacteria-sensitive environments like hospitals and restaurants? Why yes, now that you mention it…

New applications for Star Trek-sounding technologies like “nanoparticles” are everywhere. If you could recommend one area where scientists should concentrate their efforts where would that be?