Skip to main content

The Envavo Heatbuff is an infra-red lamp to keep your fingers warm as you play

Audio player loading…

What is the future of gaming and workstations? I won't keep you in suspense: It's warm hands. So says the Kickstarter for the Envavo Heatbuff, anyway. It's an infra-red hand heater that looks like it's been carved off the back of the USS Enterprise and promises to "increase your performance and comfort during computer usage," in particular when you're playing games. 

"Adrenaline speeds up your heart rate and draws blood towards the areas of your body that would need it most if you were face to face with danger. This is why you get cold hands" the Kickstarter pitch explains helpfully. "One of the places it draws blood away from is your hands, and without as much blood moving through your hands, your hands become colder." 

And of course when your hands get cold, your fingers go numb. You can't click the mouse or baff the WASD keys with the speed and precision you'd enjoy with properly-warmed appendages. But what are you going to do? Mittens are out, for obvious reasons. And so you suffer, with uncomfortable digits and a weak, scrub-like game. What a shame. 

But no more! The Heatbuff is an infrared short wave heater that fires "perfectly safe heat waves" into your hands. It will not burn you. It will not heat up your keyboard. It probably won't set your cat on fire, should she make a habit of flopping down on your desk when you're trying to get something done. All it will do is keep your hands warm, so "your reaction time will be much faster," according to the man in the worst Kickstarter video I've seen in years, "and your precision will skyrocket." 

"Your hands will never get too hot, so you won't feel the heat in a way that's uncomfortable. Even if you sit in a chilly environment, your hands will remain warm," the pitch states. "Type faster and more accurately. Play better and hit your targets. And feel more comfortable doing it." 

It's a patently silly idea. Or is it? Obviously you're not going to climb to esports superstardom by pew-pewing infrared beams into your fingers. But the Heatbuff may not be as ridiculous as it seems at first blush, either. Fingers do sometimes get cold when everything else feels more or less okay, and it's not like you can pop ten tiny touques on them and be ready for action. And let us not forget as well that infrared heat is recognized as beneficial for both preventing, and recovering from, physical injuries.   

None of which is to say that this thing will turn you into the next Thresh, or even that it will keep your digits warm and toasty in the heat of battle; it may turn out to be nothing more than a weird looking desk lamp with a hefty price tag. But there's clearly some real interest in it: The Kickstarter campaign has pulled in well over double its DKK75,000 ($10,800) goal, and there's still 20 days to go. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.