First the US military gave us GPS, aviator sunglasses and duct tape, and now it’s giving us super-cool pillows.

Aussie-listed Alexium International Group (ASX:AJX), which has been supplying US armed forces since 2009 with uniforms and tactical gear, has designed a test to see how hot or cold certain materials are.

It designed an “innovative thermal analytical testing methodology” to test the cooling capacity of “phase change material products” that are used in pillows and other bedding.

“Having a ‘cool feel’ is becoming necessary to compete in key markets of bedding, apparel, athletic wear,” the company says.

Apparel makers are increasingly including thermal management features in products using “Phase Change Material” chemistries that can improve their ability to absorb heat and moisture.

“The microscopic molecule attaches to a fibre to retain heat and cool the textile it is applied to — and then re-charge itself when the heat source is removed.”

Alexium believes it’s spotted a market gap because there has been no proper way to measure how cool a phase change material product can get.

In what Alexium called a “plethora” of new sleeping products avalanching onto the global market — worth about $50 billion — it says buyers could be sadly under-informed about their purchases because no one could tell them whether this mattress topper will be cooler than that one.

Phase change material is sold as being “cool to the touch”.

Alexium shares opened 3 per cent lower to 17c.

The "thermal management" market. Graphic: Alexium
The “thermal management” market. Graphic: Alexium