Embracing menopausal comfort with innovative cooling technology
Zera offers a discreet solution to address menopausal hot flushes using advanced cooling technology. This empowering approach not only reduces the stigma of aging but also takes into consideration the racial disparities in reproductive aging, showing sensitivity to diverse experiences.
Introducing the Zera Cooling Crescent – designed by Aphra Hallam, a BA Industrial Design and Technology graduate from Brunel University London –, a compact wearable cooling device designed to adhere to the back of your neck using reusable silicone.
More than half of the population experiences menopause, yet there is a lack of innovation when it comes to addressing menopause symptoms. Surprisingly, over 70% of women choose not to treat their menopausal symptoms, which can be attributed to inadequate discussions and education about menopause, along with a scarcity of discreet and non-invasive products.
The name Zera pays homage to Aphra’s Nigerian heritage and is a fusion of two terms. The Z represents “zen,” signifying relaxation, while “era” originates from the Yoruba word “Ilera,” which translates to health.
What factors or unmet needs served as inspiration for the creation of Zera Cooling Crescent?
“The idea for this project originated from observing my mother’s journey through menopause, which revealed the scarcity of readily available and non-intrusive solutions. Extensive research further illuminated the racial disparities in reproductive aging, underscoring the diverse experiences of women. Consequently, the Zera Cooling Crescent is now offered in a variety of skin tones, ensuring inclusivity and representation.”
Could you provide an explanation of how Zera operates?
“The Zera Cooling Crescent employs thermoelectric technology through a Peltier Module, enabling the cooling mechanism in the device. It features a silicone casing with an aluminum strip underneath to ensure efficient distribution of the cooling sensation across the neck. The Cooling Crescent attaches to the back of the neck using reusable silicone gel and can be activated via Bluetooth using the Zera app.
Additionally, the device supports wireless charging and can be conveniently charged throughout the day using its accompanying charging case.”
What does the Zera app serve for? What functionalities does it provide?
“The Zera app offers more than just cooling control. Users can utilize it to track various menopause symptoms, with visualizations of their data provided. Moreover, the app includes a vibrant community feature that allows women to connect, empower each other, and navigate this life stage together.
Within this community, users can access blogs and articles by health professionals to enhance their knowledge and understanding of menopause and its symptoms.”
Has the product been tested yet? If yes, what were the outcomes of the testing?
“As the final developed prototype was an aesthetic model, the product has not been fully tested yet. However, it has been evaluated against the user in terms of the overall design and projected functionality, both of which were met with positive responses.”
Are you considering further development of the project? If so, what approach do you envision for it?
“I am looking to develop the project further and hopefully have the opportunity to speak to more experts within the femtech and women’s health sector, as well as like minded designers in order to create a fully functional and viable product for the market. I hope that the project and its outcomes will help to fuel the growing conversations surrounding the menopause and women’s health, as well as helping to empower women.”
Follow the designer on Linkedin for more updates.