CMC 5 – The Smart Issue

June 18, 2013


Outside it’s wet and cold and deep. Sweat in this climate is a killer, but on you, right now, it doesn’t have a chance. Microscopic, anti-microbial fibres, born on a purebred merino sheep half a world away and woven into a high-tech fabric, move heat vapour away from your skin as fast as it’s produced. Your shell, imbued with a porous fluoropolymer membrane featuring over 1.4 billion pores per square centimetere, lets that moisture escape from you for good. Brilliantly, it’s a one way street: rain nor snow can penetrate you from the outside, each pore just 1/20,000 the size of a water droplet. You stride on a miraculous fusion of carbon, high-tensile steel, laminated hardwoods and composite fibreglass. Attached on the bottom of a sintered base, adhesive nylon skins turn otherwise impassible powder into an upward-trending sidewalk. A minimalist but ever-so-durable interface of polyethylene thermoplastic and aluminum joins with a complicated blend of rubbers, Velcro, mouldable foams, magnesium buckles and plastics with specific flex patterns. With just a few clicks and adjustments, boards go from escalators to reverse-camber roller coasters.

On your back, contained in a feather-light amalgam of Cordura, nylon, mesh backings and zippers with waterproof garages, there are concentrated, quickly digestible energy bars, warm liquid in stainless steel, rescue and safety equipment that’s been painstakingly engineered to best balance function, weight and packability. Strapped to your chest is a wallet-sized marvel of software, sensors and power cells with the ability to save lives. There are polarized glasses with interchangeable lenses, goggles with anti-fog agents and UV protection, and a down jacket that compresses to the size of a roll of toilet paper. You don’t really think about this. Blissfully unaware, technology and intelligence envelopes you in a uniform of wonder, built entirely of simple, straightforward desire: the want to be outside. In our eyes, that’s about as smart as it gets.

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