Erik De Nijs and Tim Smit, founders of the Netherlands based product design firm Nieuwe Heren stumbled across an article on the rising pollution problem in large urban cities. Recognizing that pedestrian and cycling commuters faced daily exposure with no way of knowing the levels to toxicity, the pair set out to design a garment which would offer alerts and protection to benefit the wearers’ health.
The Aegis Parka, deriving its name from the shield of Zeus in the Iliad is the prototype they hope to put into production with a major clothing brand. An air quality sensor registers pollutants and signals the wearer through a series of LED lights. The greater number of lights that illuminate, the more severe the contamination.
Offering protection is an integrated carbon filter respirator which would help trap dangerous air particles.
Beyond benefits to the wearer, the outside of the parka is treated with TiO2 (titaniumdioxide), a solution with photocatalystic properties which helps scrub pollution out of the air using a reaction with sunlight.