Kuraray Living and Hokkaido University have been working together to create a soft washable fabric woven with carbon nanotube coated fibers that produces heat when electricity is applied. So when it’s perfected, your electric blanket could get a lot less bulky.
The material has been in development since 2007, but recent advancements in carbon nanotube technology have given its creators hope that it could be used in commercial products as early as 2013. Once the expensive material can be mass produced so that it comes with a consumer-friendly price tag, products like heated sidewalk mats and cushions could start hitting the market.
And once those products are proven to be safe for use (they do have to pump electricity through them after all) I’m cautiously optimistic that my dream of finally owning a pair of self-heating undies could come true.