Simone Casciaro, a young Energy Systems Engineering student at his second startup experience, is the creator of QOOWEAR, a winter garment that modulates the body’s heat. This innovation, being an enthusiastic skier who dreads cold weather, struck me immediately as a dream come true and drove me to learn more.
The idea of QOOWEAR was born from a personal need of Simone: stop being cold. “I literally woke up one morning in January 2016 so fed up with dealing with this problem, that I decided I needed to find a viable solution or create my own. After coming up with the idea, I started building the team and QOOWEAR began taking shape, focusing right away on the most innovative and cutting-edge technologies,” says the young entrepreneur.
QOOWEAR is the first Artificial Intelligence-based winter garment which can autonomously modify its temperature according to any outside temperature (video at this link). A series of sensors allow it to provide the body with the exact amount of heat, at the specific moment, in the correct anatomical area where it needs to be warmed up. This process is powered by energy supplied by a small battery controlled by a proprietary algorithm, developed using data analysis and machine learning techniques. QOOWEAR is a baselayer made of ultra-thin, breathable, lightweight fabric.
When Simone built the team of co-founders he tapped some high-school classmates who had gone on to become professionals and had the right skills to carry out a project like this one. The first to join was his namesake, Simone, architect and computer graphics expert, who is QOOWEAR’s Design Manager. Shortly after him, there was Domenico, with a double degree in Astrophysics and Business Data Analysis, became their Process Manager. With him they analyzed data from Nasa and the European Union, to test their hypotheses and understand what were their actual target markets. After having worked hard for several months, that summer Gian Marco, another great friend of Simone, came onboard. An Engineer with a Master in Communication Engineering and Firmware for the Internet of Things’ writing experience, he was nominated CTO.
“Now, our group is even bigger, because we have built a dense network of mentors, thanks to intense networking activities between Rome and Milan. Besides, in December we got a new team member, Francesco, another one of my high-school friends who is a Materials Engineer with a past experience at the CNR (the Italian NIH). He is our Simulation Engineer and, I believe, our greatest addition so far!” says Simone.
The product is entirely “Designed in Italy” and the whole Italian aesthetic capacity flows into its development, already in its third design version, now visible on their website.
QOOWEAR aims to appeal to people who live under severe winter weather conditions; several hundred million around the world. Just in the US, there are more than 100 million people who live in subzero conditions for over three months a year.
In 2017, the team will launch a reward-based crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, to reach initial customers among young American athletes looking for a product that allows them to fully enjoy winter sports, even under the most adverse weather conditions. Especially, QOOWEAR will target people who love innovative technologies and are already familiar with crowdfunding.
“Our primary purpose,” says Simon, “is to identify those people who are very passionate about our product and learn as much as possible from their feedback. The proceeds from the campaign will be used to deliver the items on time to our early backers and invest in research and development to improve our product quickly and get to market by 2018.”
Italian history is generally one of beauty and creativity and, apparently, QOOWEAR is not an exception. Unlike the baselayers on the market, this stylish undergarment actively provides heat to the human body, as if there was a heater at the person’s disposal at the exact moment she needs it, in the body area that requires it. “If the person goes indoors,” Simone explains “our technology does not create an excessive accumulation of heat which happens with traditional baselayers. Heat accumulation makes people sweat, creating an immediate feeling of discomfort, which can result in the need to remove the baselayer once the user is in a closed environment.”
I am going to follow the evolution of this startup hoping to own a QOOWEAR in time for the next ski season.