Dezeen Magazine

Zera crescent in its case

Aphra Hallam creates wearable cooling device to relieve menopause symptoms

Designer Aphra Hallam has created the Zera Cooling Crescent, a wearable device designed to relieve the hot flushes women can experience during menopause.

The Zera Cooling Crescent is made from reusable silicone and aluminium, and was designed to stick comfortably to the back of the neck.

The device uses thermoelectric technology to create a cool sensation that tackles the hot flushes that people can experience during menopause.

The Zera Cooling Crescent in case and on table
The Zera Cooling Crescent is a wearable cooling device

The technology works via a thermal control device called a Peltier module, which works by applying a voltage between two electrodes and is connected to an aluminium strip.

The module cools the metal strip and targets the skin's blood vessels, which helps the user cool down when having a hot flush.

"Placing something cool on the back of your neck is one of the most effective ways to quickly cool down the body; application of the device here allows it to deliver the cooling successfully and efficiently," Hallam told Dezeen.

The device is controlled via an app, also called Zera, allowing users to control it throughout the day. This includes a tracking feature that enables women to track their menopause symptoms.

The app called Zera
The device is controlled via an app also called Zera

The crescent shape of the design was chosen as it considers the contours and movements of the human body, allowing the Zera Cooling Crescent to sit comfortably on the back of the neck.

The placement is also to ensure that it can be hidden under a shirt collar or under hair "to give women the confidence to wear it daily".

The device is charged via a portable charging case that can be kept discretely in a bag, leaving it ready to use when the symptoms appear.

The crescent in different skin tones
The crescent comes in a number of different skin tones

Hallam said she was also "on a mission to include a range of darker skin tones" as part of the design process. The product comes in a range of skin tones and aims to address the racial disparities in reproductive ageing.

"Through my research, I also discovered how menopause symptoms affect women of different races disproportionately, something which is not always highlighted in research and symptom solutions," Hallam said.

"As a Black woman, I also felt it was important to be able to highlight this, whilst still designing something that was accessible to all women," she added.

The project also aims to highlight how although there is an abundance of research on menopause, it is not often used to create solutions for symptoms.

The cresent in its case
The design relieves the hot flushes women can experience during the menopause

Hallam says her device can be used day to day to "give women in the menopause the ability to go about everyday life comfortably and confidently".

The Zera app also includes a community space that features blog posts, supportive chat rooms and informative articles written by various experts in the health sector, giving women the opportunity to engage with others also going through menopause.

Other projects on Dezeen that aim to tackle menopause are a concept for a menopausal treatment called Luma that uses AI to develop pills to help alleviate users' symptoms and a wristband for that is designed to regulate and alleviate hot flushes.